This research seeks to understand the processes that influence the abundance and diversity of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria at designated coastal bathing beaches.
It is part of a Natural Environment Research Council-funded Industrial Innovation Fellowship.
Previous research at the Centre has shown that frequent recreational use of bathing waters is associated with an increased risk of exposure to and colonisation by antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Working with the Environment Agency, the project authors have developed a novel method using next generation sequencing techniques to measure the abundance and diversity of resistance genes in Escherichia coli metagenomes isolated from bathing waters.
This research will explore variations in the abundance and diversity of resistant bacteria, using data on how the land in the surrounding areas are used, identifying major sources of pollution, and combining these with meteorological data from the Met Office.
By increasing understanding of the processes that contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria in bathing waters, this project will help inform effective strategies to reduce the spread of resistant bacteria to humans in these environments.