Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistance
Author: Amos, Gregory C. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 6061
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
Emerging antibiotic resistance mechanisms threatens the foundation of modern medicine. Growing evidence suggests anthropogenic inputs such as agriculture could form reservoirs of resistant bacteria which could directly or indirectly transfer to humans. Waste Water treatment plants (WWTPs) are an input which contains waste from several sources including that of human, animal and industry, providing a hot-spot for horizontal gene transfer to occur between bacteria from many origins. In this project we evaluated the role of WWTPs in creating environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistance. An initial study investigated the impacts of WWTP effluent on the antibiotic resistant bacterial load in downstream rivers, particularly focusing on the class 1 integron as a marker for resistance. WWTP effluent was responsible for significantly higher levels of resistant bacteria in downstream river sediments compared to upstream, a result of the introduction and/ or selection for a diverse range of class 1 integrons. A second study investigated the effects of effluent on the clinically important antibiotic resistance gene blaCTX-M-15. Numerous examples of blaCTX-M-15 carried on new genetic contexts in association with new pathogenicity determinants were recovered, as was evidence for transfer of blaCTX-M-15 between diverse bacteria. The prevalence of blaCTX-M-15 as well as the diversity of its carriage were both increased greatly by WWTP effluent. The final study was on the Thames River basin in the UK, where we developed a model with the ability to predict antibiotic resistance load and exposure. This work suggests that WWTP effluent contributes to environmental reservoirs of resistant bacteria which could be of clinical importance. There is a danger that continued expansion of environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistance will lead to increased therapeutic failure in the clinic and ultimately the end of the antibiotic era.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QR Microbiology