Biopollution: Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment

28 March 2018 12:00-17:00, London, United Kingdom

EARLY BIRD: £50/£35/£22.50 (standard/ECG member/student) 28th February 2018
STANDARD: £65/£50/£22.50 (standard/ECG member/student) 19th March

There are a limited number of free places available for unemployed and retired members. To apply, email Dr Rowena Fletcher-Wood, All registrations are non-refundable, but delegate passes may be exchanged.

12.00   Lunch and Coffee
13.00   Symposium begins, opening by Chair of the ECG (Zoe Fleming)

Dr Andrew Singer (Natural Environment Research Council, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) 
Dr Singer is a molecular microbial ecologist with expertise in pollution chemistry and water quality assessment and mitigation. He is Co-I and PI on two recently funded projects: 1) catchment scale molecular analysis and aetiology of antibiotic resistance genes (NERC), 2) the role of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance gene dissemination from wastewater on AMR selection and maintenance in river systems (Cross-Research Council). He works with members of UK public health, and through a collaboration with the Environment Agency, Defra and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, helped to identify knowledge gaps in ‘AMR in the Environment’. He has served on the UK Scientific Pandemic Influenza Advisory Committee, and Steering Committee for a US Department of State led workshop on 'Mapping the Lifecycle of Antibiotics in Southeast Asia’ in collaboration with the US Geological Survey and Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.

"An Environmental Chemist’s Introduction to the Global Crisis of Antimicrobial Resistance?"

Among the most important of factors contributing to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment is the release of sewage and manure. The chemical composition of human and animal waste, such as antibiotics, antifungals, metals and biocides, are considered the major causative factors for maintaining the selective pressure on microorganisms during waste treatment and its wider dissemination into the environment. The bacteria within the waste also contain AMR and represent a ‘biological pollution’, contributing to the spread of existing and novel environmental. Research will be presented aimed at supporting the alleviation of the environmental burden of AMR and the risk it poses to human health, complemented by a discussion of knowledge gaps and the need for policy-informing research.

Professor Celia Manaia (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
Celia M. Manaia works at the School of Biotechnology of the Portuguese Catholic University, where she is a member of the Environmental Research Group Diagnosis of the Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina (CBQF). Currently, she is Vice-President for Research and Internationalization of the Porto Regional Center of the Portuguese Catholic University. Her research is focussed on the bacterial ecology in human-impacted environments, with particular emphasis on the spread of antibiotic resistance over the urban water cycle and water-soil interface. She uses culture-dependent and culture-independent methods to study the dynamics of bacterial communities. She collaborates on various international projects, including STARE, NEREUS, ANSWERS, NORMAN-WG5, and HEARD.
“Antibiotic Resistance – from Nature to Environmental Contaminants.”

This talk will focus on how the use of antibiotics and other factors may have forced antibiotic resistance genes to become a public health threat. Professor Manaia will explore the municipal wastewater treatment plants as potential sources of contaminant antibiotic resistance and some measures that may help avoid antibiotic resistance dissemination. She will finish by discussing how to assess the risks these environmental contaminants represent for human health.
14.30   Short break
14.45   Symposium resumes, chaired by the DGL organiser (Rowena Fletcher-Wood)
Mr Lee Slater (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Lee Slater is Senior Policy Advisor in the Water Quality Team in Defra, and is responsible for Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment. He has an MSc (Distinction) in Environmental Science, Legislation and Management, and a 16 year career in commercial and marketing strategy.

“Anthropogenic Sourced Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment – Implications to Policy and Environmental Management Practice.”
The natural environment is immensely complex and varied. This multiplies the challenge to regulators and stakeholders in addressing the hazard of AMR. In recent years academic research has improved our understanding of the anthropogenic routes to and confluences within the environment. Furthermore it is evident that a robust AMR program will also need to address the management of biocides and heavy metals; both are known to influence AMR responses in bacteria. Lee Slater will speak on the policy implications of current and pending academic research, and the opportunity for environmental chemists to contribute to the issues.
Distinguished Guest Lecture: Professor Joakim Larsson (University of Gothenburg)
Joakim Larsson is a Professor in Environmental Pharmacology. He holds a PhD in animal physiology, and a background in marine research. In 2007, he combined his interests in the environment and medicine, entering the field of human physiology, and becoming professor at the University of Gothenburg in 2013. He is now the director for the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research, involving more than 100 researchers from six faculties. His papers include the identification of ethinylestradiol as an important contributor to the feminization of wild fish, and studies showing manufacturing discharges cause the most severe cases of environmental pharmaceutical pollution. Current research includes work on the role of antibiotics, metals and antibacterial biocides in the promotion of antibiotic resistance, exploration of the environmental resistome for novel resistance genes, evaluation of advanced effluent treatment technologies, surveillance of resistance in the human population using sewage bacteria, and aquatic and aerial transmission of resistant pathogens.
"Selection of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment."

General Discussion
16.30 AGM
17:00 Close
The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House

Library and Council Rooms, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

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