Project

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Microbial resistance, exotoxicological impact and risk assessment of micropollutants in a mid-sized lake

English title Microbial resistance, exotoxicological impact and risk assessment of micropollutants in a mid-sized lake
Applicant Bürgmann Helmut
Number 123048
Funding scheme ProDoc
Research institution Abteilung Oberflächengewässer EAWAG
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.01.2009 - 28.02.2013
Approved amount 457'692.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Environmental Research

Keywords (10)

antibiotics; resistance; micropollutants; freshwater lake; sediment; toxicity; risk assessment; substance mixtures; water quality; modeling

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Micropollutants (e.g. drugs, detergents, solvents, and many others) in lakes and rivers are an important environmental and public health concern. Using Lake Geneva as a model system, this project will focus on three central issues: Understanding the risks associated with antibiotic resistance, improving ecotoxicological risk assessment tools for micropollutant mixtures acting on the complex species assemblages in the lake, and assessing the impact of high pollutant concentrations on the composition and activity of microbes in lake sediments.
The largest freshwater reservoir in Western Europe, Lake Geneva exemplifies several key challenges for sustainable freshwater management during the next century. Increasing population will heighten drinking water demands and pressure on waste-water treatment. The project is organized in three subprojects: Antibiotic resistance: The increase of antibiotic resistance in pathogens is a worldwide phenomenon and a grave public health issue. Little is known about the effect of antibiotics and resistant bacteria released into the wastewater stream and natural aquatic ecosystems or the possibility of spreading antibiotic resistance within natural populations. Here we want to study this issue along the path from hotspots (e.g. hospital sewage) through wastewater treatment plants to the lake.Ecotoxicological effects of compound mixtures: Micropollutants occur in complex mixtures and affect complex natural assemblages of aquatic species in a lake. This subproject aims to assess the aquatic risk of the several micropollutants detected in Lake Geneva. Risk assessment approaches combine information on exposure to chemicals with information on the effects of these chemicals. We will base our developments on the most recent method proposed for effect evaluation, i.e. the species sensitivity distribution (SSD), a statistical function describing the variation in toxicity of a certain compound among a set of species.Metal and antibiotics in the sediment: effects and risks: A third sub-project will investigate heavy metals and bacterial antibiotic resistance in sediment: how does heavy metal contamination shape microbial communities, what is the role of sediment as a reservoir of antibiotic resistance and heavy metals, and what are associated risks?
The project aims to advance our understanding of the problems outlined above using microbiological, molecular, and chemical methods together with modeling approaches. With this information we aim to provide the groundwork for improved management and risk awareness associated with one of our most important natural resources, the lakes.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Antibiotikaresistenzen im Wasserkreislauf
Czekalski Nadine, von Gunten Urs, Bürgmann Helmut (2016), Antibiotikaresistenzen im Wasserkreislauf, in Aqua & Gas, 9, 72-80.
Does human activity impact the natural antibiotic resistance background? Abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in 21 Swiss lakes
Czekalski Nadine, Sigdel Radhika, Birtel Julia, Matthews Blake, Bürgmann Helmut (2015), Does human activity impact the natural antibiotic resistance background? Abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in 21 Swiss lakes, in Environment International, 81, 45-55.
Tackling antibiotic resistance: the environmental framework
Berendonk Thomas U., Manaia Célia M., Merlin Christophe, Fatta-Kassinos Despo, Cytryn Eddie, Walsh Fiona, Bürgmann Helmut, Sørum Henning, Norström Madelaine, Pons Marie-Noëlle, Kreuzinger Norbert, Huovinen Pentti, Stefani Stefania, Schwartz Thomas, Kisand Veljo, Baquero Fernando, Martinez José Luis (2015), Tackling antibiotic resistance: the environmental framework, in Nature Reviews Microbiology, 13(5), 310-317.
Assessing the risks posed by mixtures of chemicals in freshwater environments. Case study of Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Gregorio Vincent, Chèvre Nathalie (2014), Assessing the risks posed by mixtures of chemicals in freshwater environments. Case study of Lake Geneva, Switzerland, in Wires Water, 19.
Eintrag von Antibiotika und Antibiotikaresistenzen in Wassersysteme der Schweiz. Ein Überblick über die Lage in Bezug auf Antibiotikaresistenzen und ihre Ausbreitung in die Umwelt
Bürgmann Helmut (2014), Eintrag von Antibiotika und Antibiotikaresistenzen in Wassersysteme der Schweiz. Ein Überblick über die Lage in Bezug auf Antibiotikaresistenzen und ihre Ausbreitung in die Umwelt, in Prävention und Gesundheitsförderung, 9(3), 185-190.
Wastewater as a point source of antibiotic-resistance genes in the sediment of a freshwater lake
Czekalski Nadine, Gascón Díez Elena, Bürgmann Helmut (2014), Wastewater as a point source of antibiotic-resistance genes in the sediment of a freshwater lake, in The ISME Journal, 8(7), 1381-1390.
2013. Critical issues in using the common toxicity models CA or RA on species sensitivity distributions: a theoretical approach
Gregorio Vincent, Chèvre Nathalie, Junghans Marion (2013), 2013. Critical issues in using the common toxicity models CA or RA on species sensitivity distributions: a theoretical approach, in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistr, 32, 2387-2395.
Antibiotic resistant bacteria/genes dissemination in lacustrine sediments highly increased following cultural eutrophication of Lake Geneva (Switzerland).
Thevenon Florian, Adatte Thierry, Wildi Walter, Poté John (2012), Antibiotic resistant bacteria/genes dissemination in lacustrine sediments highly increased following cultural eutrophication of Lake Geneva (Switzerland)., in Chemosphere, 86(5), 468-76.
Characterization of fecal indicator bacteria in sediments cores from the largest freshwater lake of Western Europe (Lake Geneva, Switzerland).
Thevenon Florian, Regier Nicole, Benagli Cinzia, Tonolla Mauro, Adatte Thierry, Wildi Walter, Poté John (2012), Characterization of fecal indicator bacteria in sediments cores from the largest freshwater lake of Western Europe (Lake Geneva, Switzerland)., in Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 78, 50-6.
Increased levels of multiresistant bacteria and resistance genes after wastewater treatment and their dissemination into lake geneva, Switzerland.
Czekalski Nadine, Berthold Tom, Caucci Serena, Egli Andrea, Bürgmann Helmut (2012), Increased levels of multiresistant bacteria and resistance genes after wastewater treatment and their dissemination into lake geneva, Switzerland., in Frontiers in microbiology, 3, 106-106.
Methodology to account for uncertainties and tradeoffs in pharmaceutical environmental hazard assessment.
Coutu Sylvain, Rossi Luca, Barry D A, Chèvre Nathalie (2012), Methodology to account for uncertainties and tradeoffs in pharmaceutical environmental hazard assessment., in Journal of environmental management, 98, 183-90.
Risk of herbicide mixtures as a key parameter to explain phytoplankton fluctuation in a great lake: the case of Lake Geneva, Switzerland.
Gregorio Vincent, Büchi Lucie, Anneville Orlane, Rimet Frédéric, Bouchez Agnès, Chèvre Nathalie (2012), Risk of herbicide mixtures as a key parameter to explain phytoplankton fluctuation in a great lake: the case of Lake Geneva, Switzerland., in Ecotoxicology (London, England), 98, 183-190.
Water Pollution History of Switzerland Recorded by Sediments of the Large and Deep Perialpine Lakes Lucerne and Geneva
Thevenon Florian, Poté John (2012), Water Pollution History of Switzerland Recorded by Sediments of the Large and Deep Perialpine Lakes Lucerne and Geneva, in Water Air Soil Pollut, 223(9), 6157-6169.
Spatial and temporal presence of a wastewater-derived micropollutant plume in Lake Geneva.
Bonvin Florence, Rutler Rebecca, Chèvre Nathalie, Halder Janine, Kohn Tamar (2011), Spatial and temporal presence of a wastewater-derived micropollutant plume in Lake Geneva., in Environmental science & technology, 45(11), 4702-9.
Spatio-temporal distribution of organic and inorganic pollutants from Lake Geneva (Switzerland) reveals strong interacting effects of sewage treatment plant and eutrophication on microbial abundance.
Thevenon Florian, Graham Neil D, Herbez Aline, Wildi Walter, Poté John (2011), Spatio-temporal distribution of organic and inorganic pollutants from Lake Geneva (Switzerland) reveals strong interacting effects of sewage treatment plant and eutrophication on microbial abundance., in Chemosphere, 84(5), 609-17.
Substance flow analysis as a tool for urban water management.
Chèvre N, Guignard C, Rossi L, Pfeifer H-R, Bader H-P, Scheidegger R (2011), Substance flow analysis as a tool for urban water management., in Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Researc, 63(7), 1341-8.
A brief multi-disciplinary review on antimicrobial resistance in medicine and its linkage to the global environmental microbiota
Cantas Leon, Shah Syed Qaswar Ali, Cavaco Lina M., Manaia Célia, Walsh Fiona, Popowska Magdalena, Garelick Hemda, Bürgmann Helmut, Sorum Henning, A brief multi-disciplinary review on antimicrobial resistance in medicine and its linkage to the global environmental microbiota, in Frontiers in Microbiology, 4(96), 10.3389/fm.
Interactions in ecotoxicology
Chèvre Nathalie, Gregorio Vincent, Interactions in ecotoxicology, in Blaise Christian (ed.), Springer Science+Business, Dordrecht, 1-9.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
CIPEL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Institut F.-A. Forel, Limnologie et géologie de l'environnement Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Soren Sorenson, U. Copenhagen Denmark (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Eawag, Fish Ecology and Evolution Department, O. Seehausen Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
UFZ Leipzig, Microbial Systems Ecology Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Eawag, F. Hammes, Drinking Water Mircobiology group Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Agroscope Wädenswil, B. Duffy/ F. Walsh Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
COST Action TD 0803 Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
INRA Thonon France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Eau Service Lausanne, STEP Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
20th SETAC-GLB Poster On the appropriateness of using the common mixture toxicity models CA and IA on species sensitivity distributions: a theoretical approach 07.09.2015 Zürich, Switzerland Chèvre Nathalie;
Environmental Dimension of Antibiotic Resistance (EDAR-3) Talk given at a conference Temporal dynamics and source-to-tap connectivity in a surface-water fed drinking water distribution system 17.05.2015 Werningerode, Germany Czekalski Nadine; Bürgmann Helmut;
ContaSed 2015 Talk given at a conference A genetic contamination? Wastewater as a point source of antibiotic resistance genes in sediments of Lake Geneva 08.03.2015 Monte Verita, Ascona, Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut;
11th Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster Assessing the risk of mixture of micropollutants in Geneva lake: from the theoretical approach to “in-situ” ecological effects 15.11.2013 Lausanne, Switzerland Chèvre Nathalie;
5th Swiss Microbial Ecology (SME) Meeting Talk given at a conference Antibiotic resistance as an emerging environmental contaminant? 04.02.2013 Murten, Switzerland, Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut;
Society of Applied and Fundamental Ecotoxicology (SEFA) congress Poster Utilisation des modèles de mélanges pour l’évaluation du risque avec les courbes de distribution de sensibilité des espèces: approche théorique 04.06.2012 Lyon, France, France Gregorio Vincent;
Conference of Bacterial Genetics and Ecology (BAGECO) Poster Antibiotics resistance as an environmental contaminant in the wastewater treatment system of Lausanne, Switzerland 29.05.2012 Corfu, Greece, Greece Bürgmann Helmut;
SETAC World Congress 2012 Poster Are increased antibiotic resistance levels in Swiss lakes related to human activities? 20.05.2012 Berlin, Germany, Germany Czekalski Nadine;
4th Swiss Microbial Ecology (SME) Meeting Poster Antibiotic-resistance profile of environmental bacteria isolated from a wastewater system in Lausanne, Switzerland 02.02.2012 Engelberg, Switzerland Czekalski Nadine;
4TH Congress of European Microbiologists Talk given at a conference Antibiotic resistance as an emerging environmental contaminant 26.05.2011 Geneva, Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut;
SETAC Europe 21st annual meeting Poster Risk assessment of mixture of herbicides: the case study of lake Geneva 15.05.2011 Milano, Italy, Italy Chèvre Nathalie; Gregorio Vincent;
Journées internationales de limnologie 2010 Poster Evaluation du risque des mélanges de substances chimiques: application au cas du phytoplancton du Léman 05.10.2010 Thonon, France, France Gregorio Vincent;
Ecologie 2010 Individual talk Evaluation du risque des mélanges de substances chimiques: phytoplancton versus périphyton 02.09.2010 Montpellier, France, France Gregorio Vincent;
2nd ASM Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance in Zoonotic Bacteria and Foodborne Pathogens in Animals, Humans and the Environment Poster Wastewater is a source for antibiotic resistant bacteria in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 24.06.2010 Toronto, Canada, Canada Czekalski Nadine;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Meeting of Working group 3 of COST Action TD0803 “Detecting evolutionary hot spots of antibiotic resistances in Europe (DARE)” 23.11.2010 Wädenswil, CH, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
VSA Fortbildungskurs Mikroverunreinigungen Talk 01.06.2016 Emmetten, Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut;
VSA Jahrestagung Talk 30.04.2015 Lucerne, Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut;
Gas und Wasserfachtagung des Schweizerischer Vereins des Gas- und Wasserfaches SVGW Talk 06.09.2012 Winterthur, Switzerland Czekalski Nadine;
Presentation for Eauservice Lausanne, Division études & constructions Talk 26.06.2012 Lausanne, Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut; Czekalski Nadine;
Tagung der AWEL Amt für Abfall, Wasser, Energie und Luft, Abt. Abfallwirtschaft und Betriebe, Sektion Biosicherheit (SBS) Talk 11.06.2012 Zürich, Switzerland Czekalski Nadine;
Association de Sauvegarde du Léman Talk 07.06.2012 Nyon, Switzerland Gregorio Vincent;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Video/Film Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in our Waters International 2013
Video/Film Surface Waters - places of invisible pollution International 2013
Media relations: radio, television Interviews zur Medienmitteilung Genfersee: Antibiotikaresistenzen auf dem Vormarsch DRS 4 News; DRS1, yesFM, German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media La flore du Léman altérée par les pesticides Uniscope Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Medienmitteilung: Genfersee: Antibiotikaresistenzen auf dem Vormarsch Es erschienen Artikel in zahlreichen Printmedien im In-und Ausland International Italian-speaking Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland 2012
Talks/events/exhibitions Nuit de la Science, Genève Western Switzerland 2012
Other activities Regular lab tours to visitor groups at Eawag Kast. - station / lecture Antimic. Res. in Environment German-speaking Switzerland 2010

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
132344 Ecotoxicoproteomics approach to assess the risk of anticancer drugs to aquatic fauna 01.10.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
167116 Swiss River Resistome - identity, fate, and exposure 01.01.2017 NRP 72 Antimicrobial Resistance
146652 Oxygen depletion in a deep perialpine lake 01.07.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
135241 Catchment-scale hydrologic transport of herbicides: theory, observations, ecological risk assessment 01.06.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
128778 Confocal Microscopy at Eawag 01.09.2010 R'EQUIP
165517 Oxygen depletion in a deep perialpine lake 01.07.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)

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