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Swiss River Resistome - identity, fate, and exposure

English title Swiss River Resistome - identity, fate, and exposure
Applicant Bürgmann Helmut
Number 167116
Funding scheme NRP 72 Antimicrobial Resistance
Research institution Abteilung Oberflächengewässer EAWAG
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology - EAWAG
Main discipline Environmental Research
Start/End 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020
Approved amount 478'981.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Environmental Research
Ecology
Medical Microbiology
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology

Keywords (8)

Fate; Rivers; Freshwater; Resistome; Metagenomics; Exposure; Sediment; Risk assessment

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Mit dem Abwasser gelangen antibiotikaresistente Bakterien in die Schweizer Fliessgewässer. Das Projekt untersucht, wie sich diese Resistenzen in den Gewässern verhalten und wo die Bevölkerung mit ihnen in Kontakt kommen könnte.
Lay summary

Normale Abwasserreinigungsanlagen entfernen nicht alle resistenten Bakterien aus dem Abwasser. Wir untersuchen, welche Bakterien mit welchen Resistenzen so in Schweizer Bäche und Flüsse gelangen und wo sie sich wiederfinden. Besonderes Augenmerk richten wir dabei auf Wassertiere, Sedimente und sogenannte Biofilme: Bakterienrasen an Wasser- und Bodenoberflächen. Zudem erheben wir, wie weit Resistenzen transportiert werden und wie beständig sie sind. Aufgrund dieser Erkenntnisse entwickeln wir anschliessend Modelle, um die Belastung von Fliessgewässern entlang der Fliessstrecke vorherzusagen. Diese sollen aufzeigen, wo Menschen mit Resistenzen aus Abwasserreinigungsanlagen in Kontakt kommen können.

Hintergrund
Antibiotikaresistente Bakterien, die mit gereinigtem Abwasser in Bäche und Flüsse gelangen, bergen Risiken für den Menschen. Um diese abzuschätzen, müssen wir verstehen, wie sich die Resistenzen in Gewässern verbreiten und wie stabil sie dort sind.

Ziel
Wir wollen verstehen, wie sich Antibiotikaresistenzen in Fliessgewässern verbreiten und Modelle zur Verfügung stellen, die zeigen, wo genau Menschen in Kontakt mit diesen kommen können.

Bedeutung
Unsere Daten und Modelle schaffen Entscheidungs- und Handlungsgrundlagen, um Massnahmen gegen die Verbreitung von Antibiotikaresistenzen durch Fliessgewässer zu ergreifen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.12.2017

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Des bactéries résistantes aux antibiotiques parviennent dans les cours d’eau par l’intermédiaire des effluents. Nous étudions comment les résistances se comportent et dans quelles circonstances les êtres humains entrent en contact avec elles.
Lay summary

Les stations d’épuration n’éliminent pas toutes les bactéries résistantes des effluents. Nous étudions quelles bactéries et quelles résistances antibiotiques parviennent ainsi dans les cours d’eau suisses et où elles peuvent être retrouvées. Nous nous focalisons ce faisant sur les animaux aquatiques, les sédiments et les biofilms: les tapis bactériens qui se forment à la surface de l’eau ou du sol. Nous analysons aussi sur quelle distance les résistances sont transportées et quelle est leur durabilité. Grâce aux connaissances acquises, nous développerons ensuite des modèles afin de prévoir le degré de contamination des cours d’eau le long de leur parcours. Ces modèles visent à indiquer à quels endroits les êtres humains peuvent entrer en contact avec des résistances issues des stations d’épuration.

Contexte
Les bactéries résistantes qui parviennent dans les rivières et les fleuves par l’intermédiaire des effluents épurés représentent un risque sanitaire. Afin de pouvoir l’évaluer, nous devons comprendre comment les résistances aux antibiotiques se propagent dans les cours d’eau et quelle stabilité leur offre ce milieu.

Objectif
Nous voulons comprendre comment les résistances se propagent dans les cours d’eau et mettre à disposition des modèles qui indiquent à quels endroits précis la population pourrait entrer en contact avec elles.

Importance
Nos données et nos modèles créent une base de décision et d’action permettant de prendre des mesures afin de prévenir la propagation des résistances aux antibiotiques dans les cours d’eau.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.12.2017

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria pass into watercourses when waste water is discharged. We are investigating how this resistance behaves and where humans come into contact with it.
Lay summary

Normal waste water treatment facilities do not remove all resistant bacteria from waste water. We are looking at which bacteria, bearing which types of resistance, pass into Swiss streams and rivers in this way and where they can subsequently be found. We are paying special attention to bacteria in aquatic animals, sediments and so-called biofilms: layers of bacteria on the surface of water and soil. We are also recording the distances over which resistance is transported and how robust it is. This information will enable us to develop models to predict the resistance burden of flowing waterways along their courses. The intention is to identify places in which humans could come into contact with resistance from waste water treatment facilities.

Background
Resistant bacteria that pass into streams and rivers in treated waste water represent a risk for humans. In order to assess this risk we need to understand how antibiotic resistance spreads in bodies of flowing water and how stable it is in this environment.

Aim
We want to understand how antibiotic resistance spreads in watercourses and develop models to show where exactly humans might come into contact with this resistance.

Relevance
Our data and models provide a basis for policy decisions and practical actions that will improve our ability to control the spread of antibiotic resistance through flowing waterways.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.12.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Water and sanitation: an essential battlefront in the war on antimicrobial resistance
Bürgmann Helmut, Frigon Dominic, H Gaze William, M Manaia Célia, Pruden Amy, Singer Andrew C, F Smets Barth, Zhang Tong (2018), Water and sanitation: an essential battlefront in the war on antimicrobial resistance, in FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 94(9), fiy101.
A historical legacy of antibiotic utilization on bacterial seed banks in sediments
Madueño Laura, Paul Christophe, Junier Thomas, Bayrychenko Zhanna, Filippidou Sevasti, Beck Karin, Greub Gilbert, Bürgmann Helmut, Junier Pilar (2018), A historical legacy of antibiotic utilization on bacterial seed banks in sediments, in PeerJ, 6, e4197-e4197.
Toward a Comprehensive Strategy to Mitigate Dissemination of Environmental Sources of Antibiotic Resistance
Vikesland Peter J., Pruden Amy, Alvarez Pedro J. J., Aga Diana, Bürgmann Helmut, Li Xiang-dong, Manaia Celia M., Nambi Indumathi, Wigginton Krista, Zhang Tong, Zhu Yong-Guan (2017), Toward a Comprehensive Strategy to Mitigate Dissemination of Environmental Sources of Antibiotic Resistance, in Environmental Science & Technology, 51(22), 13061-13069.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
HEARD network / U.S. project with international collaborators United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
C. McArdell / C. Ort (Eawag) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
David Drissner / Agroscope Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
T. Julian, S. Marks, Eawag Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
IBP seminar (ETH Zurich) Individual talk Antimicrobial resistance - from sewage to surface waters 09.11.2018 ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut;
Halting Antimicrobial Resistance Dissemination in Aquatic Environments (HEARD 2018) Poster Impact of wastewater treatment plants on receiving rivers and downstream fate of anthropogenic input of antibiotic resistant bacteria 19.09.2018 Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland Lee Jangwoo; Bürgmann Helmut; Ju Feng;
Halting Antimicrobial Resistance Dissemination in Aquatic Environments (HEARD 2018) Talk given at a conference Tracking antibiotic resistance genes and bacteria from Swiss wastewater to the receiving river ecosystem 19.09.2018 Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland Lee Jangwoo; Ju Feng; Bürgmann Helmut;
Halting Antimicrobial Resistance Dissemination in Aquatic Environments (HEARD 2018) Poster Fate of antibiotic resistance in ozonation and post-ozonation biofilter treatment (by Lian Yang) 19.09.2018 Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland Ju Feng; Bürgmann Helmut;
Swiss Society for Microbiology Annual Congress Talk given at a conference Quantitative tracking of carbapenem-resistant bacteria and extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing bacteria from treated wastewater to Swiss river ecosystems 28.08.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Ju Feng; Bürgmann Helmut; Lee Jangwoo;
Swiss Society for Microbiology Annual Congress Poster The impact of wastewater treatment plants on the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in Swiss rivers 28.08.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Ju Feng; Bürgmann Helmut; Lee Jangwoo;
International Symposium for Microbial Ecology ISME 17 Poster Co-occurrence and fate of pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, and microbial communities in secondary wastewater treatment processes 12.08.2018 Leipzig, Germany Bürgmann Helmut; Lee Jangwoo; Ju Feng;
International Symposium for Microbial Ecology ISME 17 Poster Antibiotic resistance activity, genetic mobility and host pathogenicity in the Swiss wastewater and its receiving river ecosystem 12.08.2018 Leipzig, Germany Ju Feng; Bürgmann Helmut;
ZHAW lecture series "Anwendungen der Umweltmikrobiologie" Individual talk Antibiotikaresistenzen als Umweltkontamination 04.05.2018 Wädenswil, Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut;
Ecoimpact meets Ecoimprov: RCEES / Eawag joint symposium Talk given at a conference Antibiotic Resistance - Ecoimpact(ed)? 13.12.2017 Dübendorf, Switzerland Lee Jangwoo; Bürgmann Helmut; Ju Feng;
International Symposium on Antimicrobial Resistance in Environment (ISARE) Talk given at a conference Dynamics and transcription of the resistome in Swiss WWTPs 30.11.2017 Shenzhen, China Bürgmann Helmut; Lee Jangwoo;
4th International Symposium on the Environmental Dimension of Antibiotic Resistance Talk given at a conference Wastewater treatment plant resistomes are structured by microbial composition and actively transcribed at all process stages 13.08.2017 Lansing, MI, United States of America Bürgmann Helmut; Lee Jangwoo;
EDAR mini symposium Individual talk Transcriptomic Investigations of the Swiss Wastewater Treatment Plant Resistome 15.06.2017 Copenhagen, Denmark Bürgmann Helmut; Ju Feng;


Self-organised

Title Date Place

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
VSA Infoveranstaltung "Eliminierung von Antibiotikarückständen und Resistenten Bakterien aus Abwasser" Talk 16.11.2017 Dübendorf, Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut; Ju Feng;
Schadstoffe in Seesedimenten V34/17 Talk 04.05.2017 Dübendorf , Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut;
Acqua / Wasser 360 Talk 30.03.2017 Lugano , Switzerland Bürgmann Helmut;


Self-organised

Title Date Place

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Beim Naturbaden sind resistente Keime mit von der Partie Oekoskop German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Media relations: radio, television Der unsichtbare Feind – Multiresistente Keime auf dem Vormarsch SRF 1 German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Talks/events/exhibitions Presentation of our NFP72 research at public tours and to visitor groups at Eawag Kastanienbaum German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Talks/events/exhibitions Acqua / Wasser 360 Italian-speaking Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Antibiotikaresistenzen im Trinkwasser? Aqua & Gas German-speaking Switzerland 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Swiss River Resistome Project Page on ResearchGate ResearchGate International 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Swiss River Resistome Webpage Eawag Website International 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions VSA Info Veranstaltung Eliminierung von Antibiotkarückständen und Resistenten Bakterien aus Abwasser German-speaking Switzerland 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
123048 Microbial resistance, exotoxicological impact and risk assessment of micropollutants in a mid-sized lake 01.01.2009 ProDoc

Abstract

Due to inputs from wastewater and agriculture aquatic environments receive, due to their role as natural resistance reservoirs, and also due to their role as connecting elements across urban and natural landscapes, aquatic environments are central to understanding the fate of antimicrobial resistance in the environment. This projects proposes to study the fate and impact of anthropogenic inputs of resistant bacteria from wastewater and farming into Swiss rivers systems. We propose to study the up- and downstream of wastewater inflows using metagenomics to obtain an in depth view of the resistome, and using a standardized set of microbiological (indicator organisms) and molecular (qPCR of resistance genes) tools to obtain a quantitative dataset that is comparable among different projects. To elucidate the extent of the penetration of resistance gene inputs into natural populations, we propose to employ epicPCR, a method to link functional genes to the 16S rRNA gene of the host bacterium. We propose to study the fate of a set of resistance determinants during WWTP stormwater bypass events, and in two rivers we will study the fate of the resistome along the river, to measure the spatial extent of contamination and to test if the fate of different resistome elements follows simple rules or is dependent on the individual case. This study will take several river subhabitats into account: water, biofilms, sediment, and the gut microbiome of river invertebrates. Finally, we propose to research possible exposure pathways and to use the data from this project to generate estimates for contamination of Swiss rivers with antibiotic resistant organisms and of the human exposure to them for various water-related activities.
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