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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Modelling Future Scenarios of Antibiotic Use in Humans and its Implications for AMR Selection and Toxicity in the Aquatic Environment  Event

Crop Seminar Series
12:00 - 13:00
25 November 2016
Building 07, Room 3021, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Adam Corres at .

Event details

A Crop Systems Seminar with Dr Andrew Singer, CEH Wallingford

Modelling Future Scenarios of Antibiotic Use in Humans and its Implications for AMR Selection and Toxicity in the Aquatic Environment (Andrew C Singer, Qiuying [Rachel] Xu, Richard Williams and Virginie Keller).

The problem with antimicrobial resistance is the increased prevalence of drug-resistant infections. The cause is often attributed to inappropriate and overused antibiotics in both humans and animals. National, regional and global AMR Action Plans have been drafted to tackle many of these problems.

One of the lower hanging fruits for mitigation is for the NHS to reduce the total number of antibiotic prescriptions. Such a move by the NHS in the past two years has been successful, with over 2.16 million fewer prescriptions in 2014-15 than in the previous year. 2016-17 aims for 1.6 million fewer prescriptions than 2013-14, reflecting a further 4% reduction.

The question remains whether these reductions will have any meaningful impact on the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in the environment. Modelled scenarios will be presented to examine this question and also explore to what degree the NHS needs to reduce the prescriptions to achieve an environment where human antibiotic use is not selecting for antibiotic resistance in our rivers. The results from this modelling work raise important issues for societal and governmental prioritisation to ensure the goal of mitigating drug-resistant infections can be rapidly and cost-effectively achieved.

Further information:

My background is in Soil and Water Science from the University of California at Riverside. I am a pollution scientist with an interest in understanding its effects on microbial ecology and function in soil and water systems. In most cases, my research is leaning towards the 'applied' with a policy relevant angle, such as the studies I've conducted into characterising the nature and effects of large-scale pharmaceutical use (e.g. antivirals, such as Tamiflu, and antibiotics), during an influenza pandemic. Current research aims to better understand the drivers of antibiotic resistance in the environment and their implications to ecosystems and human health. I maintain activity in the field of wastewater epidemiology, which aims to understand human behaviour and health through the analysis of sewage, e.g. pathogen incidence and prevalence, drug compliance. I also contribute to one of CEH's flagship projects, COSMOS-UK, which is a UK soil moisture monitoring network based on an experimental cosmic ray soil moisture sensor.

Speaker information

Dr Andrew Singer,CEH Wallingford,Senior Scientist

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