The one health perspective recognizes that human health is closely connected to the health of animals and the environment. One of the biggest one health issues is the rapid development and spread of antimicrobial resistance genes across the globe. New human-made drivers, such as plastic pollution, release and use of antimicrobial substances in households, veterinary and human medicine and spilling of heavy metals, may become a melting pot of rapid AMR development and spread. Environmental bacteria becoming resistant to clinically relevant drugs, could seriously threaten human health through direct exposure or transfer of resistance genes to more invasive species. Understanding how release of antibiotics from medical use could promote spread of resistance towards clinically relevant drugs (human and veterinary medicine). The pre-project will put together a competent and engaging network that will answer societal needs tied to AMR spread and pollution. We envision stakeholders from water treatment, municipal government, national authorities, health organizations and interest groups representing the pharmaceutical industry.
This main project will investigate how antibiotics released from household, hospitals and nursing homes, together with the presence of heavy metals and plastic particles, promote the selection and spread of clinically relevant antimicrobial resistance genes and potential human and animal pathogenic bacteria. Essentials are ranking the critical ARGs and their hosts, understanding ARG transmission at the interfaces of One-Health sectors, identifying selective pressures affecting the emergence, transmission, and evolution of ARGs, and finally elucidating the mechanisms that allow an organism to overcome taxonomic barriers in ARG transmission.