The overuse of antimicrobials poses a serious threat to public health by promoting the development of antimicrobial resistance in humans, animals, and the environment. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)* , two million individuals are infected with antimicrobial resistant bacteria each year in the U.S., resulting in 23,000 deaths; however, little is known regarding the role the environment plays in the transmission of these microorganisms. Environmental exposure risks are likely to be greater in water bodies receiving discharge from human sewage systems and animal feed operations than in relatively pristine aquatic environments.
This webinar will present how a stratified, probabilistic survey—National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA)— was used to determine the national geospatial patterns of several antimicrobial resistance genes present in U.S. waters. NRSA is part of the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS), which are collaborative programs between EPA, states, and tribes designed to assess the quality of the nation’s coastal waters, lakes and reservoirs, rivers and streams, and wetlands using a statistical survey design.
*CDC Report: Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013
About the Presenter:
Dr. Scott Keely is a microbiologist with EPA’s Office of Research and Development. His primary research involves bioinformatic analysis of next-generation nucleic acid sequences from environmental and gut microbiomes and human microbial pathogens, such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and respiratory/enteric viruses. In addition to NARS, Scott’s research also includes the development of novel indicators for treatment efficacy in water reuse. Scott received his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine.