Most people alive today have never known a world without antibiotics. Antibiotics became widely used to treat bacterial infections in the 1930s and ‘40s, and were quickly labeled a “miracle drug”. But, as the widespread use of antibiotics evolved, so did the discovery of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And we have now entered an era where antibiotic resistance is considered one of the biggest worldwide public health challenges of our time.
A summary of Using sewage for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance by Aarestrup and Woolhouse (2020)
- Sewage-based surveillance for antimicrobial resistance provides a flexible, scalable, and quickly implementable AMR tracking method.
- Advances in DNA sequencing enable faster and more responsive resistance monitoring, which is essential to address AMR surveillance worldwide.
Antimicrobial resistance is a challenge that many face today in the agricultural field. As antibiotics and supplements are given to farm animals and their manure applied to crops and pasture, microbes are demonstrating resistance to antibiotics in agricultural settings. These bacteria have also been found residing in surface water bodies after being influenced by agriculture or animal production. These highly resistant bacteria have caused problems for human health with exposure to these bacteria.
A brief summary of the manuscript, Update on the Antibiotic Crisis by Rossolini et al. (2014)
- Developing new antibiotics is only a stop-gap solution to a growing antibiotic resistance crisis.
- Drugs able to treat the newest strains of resistant bacteria are still years away, while resistance continues to spread.
A brief summary of the manuscript, Dissipation of Antimicrobial Resistance Determinants in Composted and Stockpiled Beef Cattle Manure by Xu et al. (2016)
- Composting manure can reduce pathogen presence and antimicrobial residues in manure.
- Composting efficacy in reducing antimicrobial residues in manure is associated with elevated temperatures within the composting process.
- Stockpiling manure marginally reduce pathogen presence and antimicrobial residues in manure when compared to composting.
A brief summary of the manuscript, Use of commercial organic fertilizer increases the abundance of antibiotic resistance genes and antibiotics in soil by Zhou et al. (2016)
- Residual antibiotics can persist in soil for months following the application of manure-based, commercial organic fertilizers.
- Antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic residues decreased significantly over the first 60 days following fertilizer application but did not return to background levels until four months after application.
A brief summary of the manuscript, Antimicrobial-resistant bacterial populations and antimicrobial resistance genes obtained from environments impacted by livestock and municipal waste (Agga et al., 2015)
- Antibiotic resistance is naturally occurring in almost any environment, making it difficult to determine what is the true human health risk associated with any change in environmental bacterial populations or genes.
- This study found higher concentrations of resistant bacteria in both treated municipal wastewater and livestock wastes than are naturally present in soil or water.
- Municipal wastewater samples contained a wider variety of antibiotic-resistant genes than were present in livestock wastes.
In the digital world in which we live today the public is presented with an overwhelming quantity of information, much of which is unscientific. In this webinar we will apply the lessons learned from antimicrobial resistance and health communications to more science communication challenges. This presentation was originally broadcast on August 14, 2020. More… Continue reading “Communicating Science Using the Science of Communication”
People worry, and I am no exception. I spend more time than I would like to admit on social media, and I have seen some things, disturbing things, things that cannot be unseen. Turns out there is a lot out there to be worried about; so how do I know I am worried the right amount and not too much? For example, I know that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious and growing health problem, but what does that mean for me? I want to know which aspects of the AMR crisis are going to impact me, which I do not have to worry about, and what I or others can do about it. The first thing I want to know more about is meat safety. I have seen the labels about “antibiotic-free meat”, and I want to know – how safe is my burger? So, I got in contact with some folks who really know meat to find out. Continue reading “How do you like your steak?”
Antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) infections are a serious threat to global public health. Each year AMR accounts for roughly 700,000 deaths worldwide. While AMR-related research is ongoing, conveying research-based knowledge about AMR mechanisms, risks, and opportunities to improve outcomes to the general public, agricultural producers, food safety experts, educators, and consumers is imperative.
The iAMResponsible Project team, a nationwide extension effort for addressing AMR, has developed a shared resource library to curate and translate the latest news and research findings on AMR for a non-technical audience. This library is designed to provide educators and advisors with access to resources that will assist you in your discussion of antimicrobial resistance. Please feel free to share and re-purpose educational products in this library with local audiences. Continue reading “Antimicrobial Resistance Resource Library”