New publication!

Our new article has been accepted in Environment International:

Spänig S, Eick L, Nuy JK, Beisser D, Ip M, Heider D*, Boenigk J*: A multi-omics study on quantifying antimicrobial resistance in European freshwater lakes. Environment International 2021, 157: 106821. *shared last & corresponding authors (Link)


The surveillance of wastewater for the Covid-19 virus during this unprecedented pandemic and mapped to the distribution and magnitude of the infected in the population near real-time exemplifies the importance of tracking rapidly changing trends of pathogens or public health problems at a large scale. The rising trends of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with multidrug-resistant pathogens from the environmental water have similarly gained much attention in recent years. Wastewater-based epidemiology from water samples has shown that a wide range of AMR-related genes is frequently detected. Albeit sewage is treated before release and thus, the abundance of pathogens should be significantly reduced or even pathogen-free, several studies indicated the contrary. Pathogens are still measurable in the released water, ultimately entering freshwaters, such as rivers and lakes. Furthermore, socio-economic and environmental factors, such as chemical industries and animal farming nearby, impact the presence of AMR. Many bacterial species from the environment are intrinsically resistant and also contribute to the resistome of freshwater lakes. This study collected the most extensive standardized freshwater data set from hundreds of European lakes and conducted a comprehensive multi-omics analysis on antimicrobial resistance from these freshwater lakes. Our research shows that genes encoding for AMR against tetracyclines, cephalosporins, and quinolones were commonly identified, while for some, such as sulfonamides, resistance was less frequently present. We provide an estimation of the characteristic resistance of AMR in European lakes, which can be used as a comprehensive resistome dataset to facilitate and monitor temporal changes in the development of AMR in European freshwater lakes.

Written by: Heider