Date: August 9, 2022
Time: 11:00am (PDT), 2:00pm (EDT), 8:00pm (CEST)
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as a major health threat. The FED-AMR project part of the One Health European Joint Programme (OHEJP) investigates the relevance of free extracellular (ex)DNA as a source of AMR in agricultural soils and along the food/feed chain by investigating microbial communities, clinically relevant bacteria, contaminants and antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) in diverse interconnected ecological compartments across European countries. Results of FED-AMR will contribute to improve methods, surveillance, preparedness, development of strategies and a faster response to AMR threats.
511 samples were collected over a one year crop growing season from 11 different ecological compartments (pig faeces and manure, fertilizer, soil, crops, feed, surface water, waste water, wildlife, farmers) in so-called Open Air Laboratories (OALs) and other agricultural areas and wildlife. Samples were analyzed for microbial diversity using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, for ARGs using a gene-enrichment sequencing approach, for the presence of clinically-relevant resistant bacteria, including C. difficile, and for the presence of contaminants that might drive AMR, i.e. antibiotics, pesticides and heavy metals.
Preliminary results show a high genomic diversity of bacterial isolates and a high ARG variability between different countries, different farms and between different compartments. The lowest number of ARG were detected in river water and crops and the highest numbers in wildlife, wastewater sludge and animal feeds.
Final analysis will provide new and detailed information about the role of exDNA as an AMR source, about antimicrobial, microbial- and ARG diversity, and about interactions and factors influencing emergence and spread of AMR and resistant microorganisms in an agricultural environment. The findings will be analyzed to identify critical control points for intervention and reduction of AMR spread and public health risks.
- Define novel approaches for the genomic surveillance for AMR pathogens in environmental samples like soil or waste water.
- Explain the relevance of free extracellular (ex)DNA as a potential source of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in environmental samples.
- Discuss the objectives of the FED-AMR project as a part of the One Health European Joint Programme (OHEJP).
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