Gaining insight into the risks and control of antibiotic use antibiotics antibiotic resistance antimicrobial resistance

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are used in animal husbandry to cure bacterial infections. Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, therefore safe and proper use is important. Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) studies the occurrence, spread and prevention of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria of animal origin.

We use state-of-the-art techniques, such as:

  • Sequencing all antibiotic resistance genes in a population (resistome)
  • Genotyping resistant bacteria and plasmids
  • Traditional resistance tests and risk assessment studies

Dedicated microarrays to determine presence of resistance genes in a microbial population are available.

National Reference Laboratory

We play an important role in the monitoring as the National Reference Laboratory for antibiotic resistance in animals. This involves a large number of reference tasks such as managing reference collections of bacterial strains and performing collaborative benchmarking studies. These studies aim to standardise the antibiotic sensitivity tests performed at veterinary diagnostic laboratories and to improve the quality of these laboratories. This involves intensive collaboration, both in the Netherlands and abroad, with various institutes.

Additionally, NRL researchers participate in a number of project groups, and the national laboratory advises various policy agencies in this field.

Microbiota composition

Antimicrobial resistance genes are widely spread in bacterial populations like intestinal or oropharyngeal microbiota. Resistance genes can therefore be exchanged between commensals and pathogens within these communities. At Wageningen Bioveterinary Research we determine the microbiota composition and resistome of several bacterial communities. The effect of interventions that influence microbiota composition (such as feed and probiotics) on antimicrobial resistant organisms and the number of resistance genes is also included in our studies.

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