Modeling waterborne antimicrobial resistance: Phase 2
Over the last century, antibiotics have revolutionized medicine and enabled the prevention of bacterial infections that were previously deemed untreatable. However, in parallel, bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics through various mechanisms. When the resistant bacteria find their way into terrestrial and aquatic environments, animal and human exposure to these resistant pathogens increase (e.g., via polluted soil, food and water), and health risks multiply. Understanding the fate and transport of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and the transfer mechanisms of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in aquatic environments is critical for evaluating and mitigating the risks of infectious diseases. However, research on the modeling of antibiotic resistance (AR) in aquatic environments is still in the early stages. In this project, we discuss current knowledge, research gaps, and priorities for the development of models to assess the fate and transport of ARB and ARGs. The project will also provide background critical thinking and start developing new model modules to understand the AR mechanisms in aquatic environments and how to tackle the emerging issue of AR.