The role of wastewater treatment works in the future of antimicrobial resistance: PRESENTATION ONLY

Osbourn, B., Byrne, R., Sandford, G., Thomas, D., Waddington, C., Dobson, S. and Gordon, C., Mott MacDonald, UK


Waste water treatment works (WwTW) are critical in addressing the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and it’s vectors, such as micro- and nanoplastics, utilised for transport.  WwTW are inadequate in removing AMR associated compounds due to their tendency of remaining in the dissolved phase; resulting in concentrated discharges of AMR-genes into the environment and population scale evolution of micro-organisms.

AMR is an emerging contaminant of concern for AMP7 chemical investigations; this, in addition to rising evidence in AMR’s connection with microplastics, ensures it will become a focal point for regulation and scrutiny within AMP8/9. A lack of AMR solutions and knowledge will be a constant barrier in the drive for water neutrality due to associated microbial risks in contaminating rivers and groundwater during recycle and re-use, not to mention impacts on biodiversity. There is an urgent need for a comprehensive evaluation of the role WwTWs play in generating and disseminating AMR and how, with adequate innovation, WwTW could be the imminent solution to rising global occurrences.

This presentation will showcase multisectoral investigations and research into AMR and microplastics undertaken by Mott MacDonald. This compliments the work undertaking by Mott MacDonald for the UK Department of Health under the Fleming Fund.

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