Urban informal settlements as hotspots of antimicrobial resistance and the need to curb environmental transmission

  29 May 2020

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing public health challenge that is expected to disproportionately burden lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the coming decades. Although the contributions of human and veterinary antibiotic misuse to this crisis are well-recognized, environmental transmission (via water, soil or food contaminated with human and animal faeces) has been given less attention as a global driver of AMR, especially in urban informal settlements in LMICs—commonly known as ‘shanty towns’ or ‘slums’. These settlements may be unique hotspots for environmental AMR transmission given: (1) the high density of humans, livestock and vermin living in close proximity; (2) frequent antibiotic misuse; and (3) insufficient drinking water, drainage and sanitation infrastructure.

Further reading: Nature Microbiology
Author(s): Maya L. Nadimpalli, Sara J. Marks, Maria Camila Montealegre, Robert H. Gilman, Monica J. Pajuelo, Mayuko Saito, Pablo Tsukayama, Sammy M. Njenga, John Kiiru, Jenna Swarthout, Mohammad Aminul Islam, Timothy R. Julian & Amy J. Pickering
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