We are very happy to welcome Rebeca Pallarés Vega (Palencia, Spain) who has joined the GrahAM research group as a Research Assistant to study the dynamics of plasmid transfer in Indian rivers on our AMRflows project. Rebeca studied a BSc in Biology at the University of Salamanca (Spain) and then to pursued an MSc in Advances and Research in Microbiology at the University of Granada (Spain). During her MSc, Rebeca did an internship in 2015 at the water research centre, Wetsus, in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. This was when she became acquainted with antimicrobial resistance, and during her nine-month project, she studied resistant genetic profiles of bacteria isolated from hospital wastewater.
After completing her internship, Rebeca was granted a PhD position at TU Delft and Wetsus in collaboration with industrial stakeholders and water authorities. During her PhD, Rebeca focused on evaluating the presence and removal of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) in wastewater and biosolids. Her main goal was to identify the role of wastewater system design, operational parameters, and abiotic factors (i.e., rainfall) on ARG removal dynamics. Rebeca also studied different conditions that might influence the spread of ARGs through the conjugal transfer of plasmids using in vitro and in situ experimental set-ups at the University of Copenhagen with the group of Professor Søren Sørensen.
In 2020, Rebeca joined the EU2020 project REPARES on behalf of Wetsus. There, she worked in method standardization and transfer across the consortium partners. We are very happy for Rebeca to join our group because her background fits perfectly into AMRflows, but our other work, such as wastewater-based epidemiology.
You can now watch the Wetsus webinar AMR in wastewater, determinants and removal online here. Prof David W Graham is one of three invited speakers in the webinar, along with Rebeca Pallares Vega and Dr Maarten Nederlof.
The Graham Group contributed to the analysis and interpretation of AR gene data on the aquaculture ponds and local rivers, which corroborated that polluted rivers were contaminating the ponds, not the other way around. See more about on the clean water research being done by Professor Werner’s team on their blog. Additionally, see the Newcastle University’s press release about the work here.
Prof David W Graham will be giving a public talk on AMR prevalence and monitoring in wastewater systems on 25 March 2021 is part the Wetsus REPARES network, supported by STOWA in the theme source separated sanitation. The Webinar starts at 15:30 (Netherlands) / 14:30 (UK) time and last about 90 minutes. This webinar is called “AMR in wastewater – determinants and removal” has three invited speakers, including David Graham, Dr Maarten Nederlof, and Rebeca Pallares Vega (soon to join our group in Newcastle). Drs Heike Schmitt and Lucia Hernandez will host the webinar. Talks are available online here.
Amelie Ott recently gave a webinar for the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) on ‘Source tracking of antimicrobial resistance in emerging countries’ with over 200 stakeholders registered for this event. Amelie talked about environmental antibiotic resistance in low-and-middle-income countries with a special focus on monitoring and modelling antibiotic resistance in South East Asian rivers. Amelie was invited to give this webinar after winning the student competition at the RSPH ‘What is the future of water in public health?’ conference in Sheffield, December 2019.
We are looking for a highly motivated person to join our team on a 24-month full- time position funded by our UK-India NERC project “AMRflows: antimicrobials and resistance from manufacturing flows to people”. We are seeking someone with advanced skills and experience in molecular microbial ecology, flow cytometry, and-or bioinformatics and biostatistical analysis, ideally within a water-engineering context. The aim of the post is to develop new ways of quantifying rates and frequencies of horizontal gene transfer related to antibiotic resistance in the environment. The post also may assist our work quantifying SARS-CoV-2 spread in the environment. A full job description and how to apply is available at here. The closing date is 3 January 2021.
David Graham recently provided the 2020 Newcastle University Alumni Day lecture and it is now available online (in case you missed it). The talk called “Fighting the Next Pandemic: Water quality, antimicrobial resistance and global health” is available here or see it below. It addresses links between water quality and the spread of resistant infectious disease – which could potentially lead to the next pandemic. Parallels and lessons between antibiotic resistance and Covid-19 are discussed.
David W Graham – Source tracking and predicting antibiotic resistance exposures along two SE Asian rivers with inconsistent wastewater management
Pani Adamou – Contribution of different treatment technologies at reducing total cell and viable cell ARGs from discharged wastewater
Marcos Quintela-Baluja – Targeted metagenomics for source attribution of Antimicrobial Resistance in Urban systems
Myra Giesen – Knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions towards antibiotics and AMR among slum dwellers and medical practitioners in New Delhi
Andrew Zealand – Contrasting resistomes of the guts of infants, and water and wastewater exposures
Also, David is chairing the session Water and wastewater: fate and treatment of AMR – Friday 30 October 12:00 – 14:00 CET, while Marcos is chairing the session Environmental exposures: Water and wastewater – Monday 2 November 20:00 – 22:00 CET.
Prof David Graham will be speaking at the Newcastle Alumni Day on Saturday, 10th October 2020. The lecture is open to Newcastle graduates, current and retired staff, supporters, and others; you can register here. David will discuss links between water quality and resistant infectious disease – which could potentially lead to the next pandemic. Antimicrobial resistance already is rampant in the developing world, partially due to poor water quality. However, it is growing everywhere due to global connectedness. David will present evidence of this spread before discussing holistic solutions.