An international research team has provided valuable new information about what drives the global spread of genes responsible for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria.
The collaborative study, led by researchers at the Quadram Institute and the University of East Anglia, brought together experts from France, Canada, Germany and the UK and will provide new information to combat the global challenge of AMR.
By examining the whole genome sequences of around two thousand resistant bacteria, predominantly Escherichia coli collected between 2008 and 2016, the team found that different types of AMR genes varied in their temporal dynamics. For example, some were initially found in North America and spread to Europe, while for others the spread was from Europe to North America.
Not only did the study look at bacteria from different geographic regions but also from diverse hosts including humans, animals, food (meat) and the environment (wastewater), to define how these separate but interconnected factors influenced the development and spread of AMR. Understanding this interconnectivity embodies the One Health approach and is vital for understanding transmission dynamics and the mechanisms by which resistance genes are transmitted.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, was supported by the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR), a global collaboration spanning 29 countries and the European Commission that is tasked with turning the tide on AMR. Without concerted efforts on a global scale, AMR will undoubtedly make millions more people vulnerable to infections from bacteria and other microorganisms that can currently be tackled with antimicrobials.
The team focussed on resistance to one particularly important group of antimicrobials, the Extended-Spectrum Cephalosporins (ESCs). These antimicrobials have been classed as critically important by the World Health Organization because they are a ‘last resort’ treatment for multidrug resistant bacteria; despite this, since their introduction, efficacy has declined as bacteria have developed resistance.
Source: Read Full Article