Opinion

Tackling antibiotic resistance: the environmental framework

  • Nature Reviews Microbiology volume 13, pages 310317 (2015)
  • doi:10.1038/nrmicro3439
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Abstract

Antibiotic resistance is a threat to human and animal health worldwide, and key measures are required to reduce the risks posed by antibiotic resistance genes that occur in the environment. These measures include the identification of critical points of control, the development of reliable surveillance and risk assessment procedures, and the implementation of technological solutions that can prevent environmental contamination with antibiotic resistant bacteria and genes. In this Opinion article, we discuss the main knowledge gaps, the future research needs and the policy and management options that should be prioritized to tackle antibiotic resistance in the environment.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the EU for support provided through COST Action TD0803: DARE, and the contributions of A. Tello, A. von Haeseler, H.-P. Grossart, H. Garelick, L. Rizzo, I. Henriques, M. Caniça, M. Coci, M. Wögerbauer and T. Tenson. C.M.M., T.U.B., T.S. and D.F.K. thank the National Funding Agencies through the WATER JPI project StARE (WaterJPI/0001/2013). Acknowledged funding: T.U.B. is funded by ANTI-Resist (02WRS1272A; Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)) and the 'support the best' programme of the Technische Universität Dresden and Deutsch Forschung Gründung; T.S. is funded by TransRisk (BMBF); C.M. is funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Programmes ECOTECH and BIOADAPT, and the Zone Atelier Moselle (ZAM); E.C. is funded by grant #821014213 from the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture; V.K. is funded by a European Regional Development Fund through the Centre of Excellence in Chemical Biology, Estonia; and C.M.M. is funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal, projects PEst-OE/EQB/LA0016/2013.

Author information

Author notes

    • Thomas U. Berendonk
    •  & Célia M. Manaia

    T.U.B. and C.M.M. contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Thomas U. Berendonk is at the Institute for Hydrobiology, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden 01062, Germany.

    • Thomas U. Berendonk
  2. Célia M. Manaia is at the Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina – Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa/Porto, Rua Arquiteto Lobão Vital, Apartado 2511, Porto 4202–401, Portugal.

    • Célia M. Manaia
  3. Christophe Merlin is at the Université de Lorraine and le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Laboratoire de Chimie Physique et Microbiologie pour l'Environnement, Unite Mixte de Recherche 7564, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy F-54500, France.

    • Christophe Merlin
  4. Despo Fatta-Kassinos is at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Nireas, International Water Research Center, University of Cyprus, PO Box 20537, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus.

    • Despo Fatta-Kassinos
  5. Eddie Cytryn is at the Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization, PO Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel.

    • Eddie Cytryn
  6. Fiona Walsh is at the Department of Biology, Biosciences and Electronic Engineering Building, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland.

    • Fiona Walsh
  7. Helmut Bürgmann is at the Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Department of Surface Waters – Research and Management, Kastanienbaum (LU) 6047, Switzerland.

    • Helmut Bürgmann
  8. Henning Sørum is at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology, PO Box 8146 Dep, Oslo N-0033, Norway.

    • Henning Sørum
  9. Madelaine Norström is at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Department of Epidemiology, Oslo N-0106, Norway.

    • Madelaine Norström
  10. Marie-Noëlle Pons is at the Laboratoire Reactions et Génie des Procédés (UMR CNRS 7274), Université de Lorraine, Nancy 54000, France.

    • Marie-Noëlle Pons
  11. Norbert Kreuzinger is at the Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Water Quality, Resources and Waste Management, Karlsplatz 13/226, Vienna 1040, Austria.

    • Norbert Kreuzinger
  12. Pentti Huovinen is at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Turku, Kiinamyllynkatu 10, 20520 Turku, Finland

    • Pentti Huovinen
  13. Stefania Stefani is at the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology and Antibiotic Resistance, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Catania, Via Androne 81, Catania 95124, Italy.

    • Stefania Stefani
  14. Thomas Schwartz is at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Campus North, Institute of Functional Interfaces, Microbiology of Natural and Technical Interfaces Department, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen 76344, Germany.

    • Thomas Schwartz
  15. Veljo Kisand is at the Institute of Technology, Tartu University, Nooruse 1, Tartu 50411, Estonia.

    • Veljo Kisand
  16. Fernando Baquero is at the Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research, Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, Department of Microbiology, Madrid 28034, Spain.

    • Fernando Baquero
  17. José Luis Martinez is at the Departamento de Biotecnologia Microbiana, Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones, Darwin 3, Cantoblanco, Madrid 28049, Spain.

    • José Luis Martinez

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Célia M. Manaia.