- How does a lack of access to clean water and sanitation increase the spread of AMR?
- Can you explain how wastewater has been used as a tool to guide healthcare decisions during the pandemic?
- What are the key challenges facing the healthcare sector in preventing the spread of AMR infection?
- You and your colleagues have successfully trialled two new qPCR assays to detect transmissible AMR. Can you outline your DNA-based testing method and explain the benefits of this?
- What steps should be taken at a policy level to avoid the worst-case scenario of 10 million annual deaths by 2050?
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.
We are happy to present our new publication in Environmental Science & Technology. This paper is from Mui-Choo (Florence) Jong’s PhD research on antibiotic resistance (AR) gene transfer in low-energy sponge bioreactors. Florence showed sequential redox conditions generally enhanced AR gene removal, but she also observed very different gene transfer frequencies under different conditions. To test this observation, she developed a reporter assay using a green-fluorescent-protein tagged E. coli to track conjugative AR plasmid fate; the survival of the E. coli host cells; and gene exchange activity in aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic bioreactors, both in biofilms and the liquid phase. Overall, her work, reported in ES&T, show that aerobic conditions are better at reducing AR levels and gene transfer in wastewater ecosystems, perhaps due to the reduced host survival and in situ predation. This has major practical implications to wastewater treatment process design.
We are very pleased to present some of the group’s research in three talks and two posters at the 6th World One Health Congress. If you are registered for WOHC be sure to check them out, and send us your feedback at grahAMR@newcastle.ac.uk.
- 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.
It is official, Pani was been awarded her doctorate in Environmental Engineering. Her dissertation title is Assessing treatment technologies for reducing antibiotic resistant gene abundance and diversity in domestic wastewater treatment effluents. Well done Pani!!
Professor David Graham joins Professor Dato’ Ir Dr Zaini Ujang (Secretary General to the Environment Ministry of Malaysia) and Professor Azmi bin Aris (Director of Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Water Security, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) as panellists and moderator for this webinar. Special thank you to Prof Dr Zainura Zainon Noor for leading the event. The webinar took place 17-19 August 2020. View day two of the webinar here.
Our involvement in the UK nationwide surveillance programme is highlighted in a news clip on MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams (15 July 2020) and in a Feature article in BJM, Sewage monitoring is the UK’s next defence against covid-19, by Chris Baraniuk (15 July 2020). Additionally, our UK work is reported in Con apoyo del CONACYT investigadores crearán herramienta que ayudará a controlar la pandemia en Paraguay from the Consejo National de Cienci y Technologia (13 July 2020). This describes the development of a national sewage SARS-CoV-2 surveillance program for Paraguay.
We are one of the teams on the new £1m research programme seeking to establish an early warning of future outbreaks and reduce reliance on costly testing of large populations. The research programme led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), also involves researchers from the universities of Bangor, Bath, Edinburgh, Cranfield, Lancaster, Oxford and Sheffield, plus the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Read the news releases from Newcastle University and UKCEH. This work is an extension to our UK and Spanish SARS-CoV-2 Project.
- BBC | News | Science & Environment Coronavirus: Testing sewage an ‘easy win’ – nice article, but we did not develop the original method for SARS-CoV-2. We have improved on the previous method to make it more exact and make it more possible to approximate the human population from which it came.
- BBC | World Service | listen from 17:56
- BBC | Radio Newcastle | listen from 3:46:13