This week is World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week, an annual initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO). The aim is to increase understanding and awareness of the risks of antibiotic resistance. This is also an important research theme of Wageningen University & Research. An initiative in which three PhD student will be appointed to the research institutes Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR), Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) and RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment will intensify this collaborate even more. The aim of this collaboration is to better understand the spread of antibiotic resistance in and between farm animals, food and humans.
Resistance to antibiotics has a major impact on the treatability of bacterial infectious diseases and so on human and animal health. Plasmids play an important role in making bacteria resistant. They contain genetic information, including resistance genes, and are easily interchangeable between (different types of) bacteria.
In order to get a better understanding of the spread of resistance plasmids between animals, food and humans, a PhD student will be appointed at each of the institutes who will research this subject from a specific angle.
WFSR, WBVR and RIVM have been working together for years in the context of the national monitoring of antibiotic resistance in farm animals, food and humans. The aim of this new initiative is to increase knowledge about the distribution of these resistance plasmids from a One Health perspective. This is an interdisciplinary collaboration to improve the health of people, animals and the environment. In this way, distribution routes and unknown risks are mapped. These new insights and knowledge can contribute to the reduction of resistant bacterial infections in humans and animals.