Human microbiota drives hospital-associated antimicrobial resistance dissemination in the urban environment and mirrors patient case rates
The microbial community composition of urban environments is primarily determined by human activity. The use of metagenomics to explore how microbial communities are shaped in a city provides a novel input that can improve decisions on public health measures, architectural design, and urban resilience. Of note, the sewage system in a city acts as a complex reservoir of bacteria, pharmaceuticals, and antimicrobial resistant (AMR) genes that can be an important source of epidemiological information. Hospital effluents are rich in patient-derived bacteria and can thus readily become a birthplace and hotspot reservoir for antibiotic resistant pathogens which are eventually incorporated into the environment. Yet, the scope to which nosocomial outbreaks impact the urban environment is still poorly understood.
We show how urban metagenomics and outbreak genomic surveillance can be coupled to generate relevant information for infection control, antibiotic stewardship, and pathogen epidemiology. Our results highlight the need to better characterize and understand how human-derived bacteria and antimicrobial resistance disseminate in the urban environment to incorporate this information in the development of effluent treatment infrastructure and public health policies.
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