National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and BioResources

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IBBR Webinars


A One-Health perspective to tackle antibiotic resistance spread and impact in agri-food ecosystems

Francesca Mapelli 
Università degli Studi di Milano - Dipartimento di Scienze per gli Alimenti, la Nutrizione e l’Ambiente - Italy

September 20, 2023 (11:30-13:00)
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Abstract: Antibiotic resistance (AR) is a major threat to public health at the global level and, in the last decades, several studies showed the importance to consider the environmental dimension of the phenomenon. Agrifood ecosystems are crucial environments for AR spread in the One-Health approach. In fact, one of the main routes for the entry of antibiotic resistance determinants into the environment is represented by wastewater treatment plants, which are not yet designed for the removal of emerging contaminants, like pharmaceuticals and antibiotic resistant bacteria. In this context, the use of treated wastewater in agriculture could amplify AR spread, considering that zooplankton and plant microbiome can represent transient hosts capable to transfer antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) to human pathogenic bacteria by Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) mechanisms. In particular, plants have been defined as a “bridge” connecting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems with the human microbiome and a better understanding of HGT mechanisms in their associated bacterial communities is required. The seminar will focus on antibiotic resistance in the environment and on the role of HGT for ARGs spread into bacterial communities, highlighting the importance of an improved comprehension of the phenomenon and eventually discussing possible mitigation strategies to tackle the problem

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Istituto di Bioscienze e Biorisorse (IBBR/CNR)
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