The working group is studying the degradation and effects of antibiotics in the environment, especially in agricultural soils. The focus is on both the antibiotics themselves and the resistance genes in the bacteria. The specificity of the latter stems from their potential to replicate and spread in the environment and, when transferred to pathogens, to threaten human and animal health. Therefore, for the development of strategies to contain antimicrobial resistance, it is necessary to consider human, animal, and environmental health together (OneHealth approach). The environment in particular has been insufficiently addressed in previous measures.
The specific objectives of the WG are to:
Investigate the fate and degradation of antibiotics in soil-plant systems and identify bacterial degraders.
understand the effects of antibiotics on bacterial community activity in soil-plant systems.
identify the drivers for the persistence and transfer of antibiotic resistance in bacterial communities in soils.
assess the potential threat starting from antibiotic resistance in soils to human and animal health.
find out the removal possibilities of antibiotics and antibiotic resistances from wastewater/slurry.
Please have a look at the websites of the team members for an overview about ongoing projects.