Funding for an interdisciplinary research centre funded by the University of Gothenburg 2016-2022 and hosted by the Institute of Biomedicine. In total ~50 MSEK is budgeted, with 21.4MSEK allocated the first three years. Joakim Larsson and Fredrik Carlsson are main applicants, and in total 30 principal investigators from six faculties and three core external partners are engaged in the centre (see figure).
Main research themes of CARe and the different core partners involved. The theme interventions integrate with all other themes. Education & outreach activities cover all themes.
The threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria is a multifaceted challenge with high demands on interdisciplinary research. CARe will take advantage of diverse expertise representing six faculties and a broad network of stakeholders within the health care sector and beyond to generate state-of-the-art science with the intention to support rapid revision of policies and their implementation. Our work is divided into themes corresponding to the strategic research agenda of JPI-AMR, i.e. diagnostics, surveillance, transmission, environment, therapeutics and interventions. We will, when relevant, focus on resistance to carbapenems within each theme. CARe will provide opportunities for and stimulate internal and external collaborations as well as education, outreach and international engagement. The ultimate vision of CARe is to limit mortality, morbidity and socioeconomic costs related to antibiotic resistance on a global scale. Please visit CARe's website to read more.
Project funded by JPI-AMR with 1.443.354 € during 2017-2020 (36 months). The project is coordinated by RIVM (Ana-Maria de Roda Husman) with partners from Sweden (UGOT, i.e. the Larsson group), Germany (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität) and Romania (University of Bucharest). The Swedish Research Council VR provides the funding for the Larsson group (4.7MSEK).
The rise of antibiotic resistant infections is an imminent global public health threat, and mitigation measures are required to minimize the risks of transmission and human exposure. Municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are known hotspots for the dissemination of clinically relevant resistant bacteria of human origin to the environment, and simultaneously represent targets for intervention and mitigation strategies. While aerosolized bacteria are found within WWTP, it is largely unknown whether WWTP workers are at risk of elevated resistance carriage. In order to study the occupational and environmental transmission of antibiotic resistance due to human exposure to WWTP-borne bacteria, we will assess carriage of extended-spectrum betalactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae and resistance genes in WWTP workers, in residents in the proximity of treatment plants, and in water and air samples – both in countries with low and high antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Based on microbial cultivation as well as on high-throughput sequencing data and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), exposure through ingestion and inhalation will be modelled, and airborne exposure will be derived from geospatial analyses. Further, we will analyse treatment efficiencies of different WWTP processes in terms of AMR reduction, and therewith identify science-based critical control points for interventions. The focus of this transnational collaboration combining complementary and synergistic European research strengths, is to tackle the increasingly relevant public health threats from antibiotic resistance in WWTP by identifying transmission routes, means of exposure, and proposing risk reduction measures.
Project funded jointly by the Swedish Research Council VR (Medicine and Health) (0.7 MSEK/year) and the Swedish Research Council FORMAS (1 MSEK/year) for the period 2016-2018.
Harmless environmental bacteria serve as sources for antibiotic resistance genes and resistance plasmids that over time are recruited into human pathogens through horizontal gene transfer. There is a widespread concern that very low, environmental levels of antibiotic residues, derived from human usage, exert selection and increase the risks for such transfers events. In some contrast to this concern, we conclude that there is still very limited scientific evidence supporting this risk scenario. By defining concentrations that select for resistance and drive gene transferin complex microbial communities, we will investigate if resistance promotion primarily, or even only, takes place at higher environmental antibiotic concentrations reached through other routes than via human excretions, such as pollutionfrom antibiotic manufacturing. We will also investigate if industrial pollution with antibiotics promotes the emergence of previously unknown resistance factors. We expect the results to significantly improve our scientific understanding of the role of antibiotics in the environment in the emergence, selection and transfer of antibiotic resistance. Importantly, the research will aid in scaling and directing countermeasures to where they are likely to have an impact, and thereby benefit public health in the long term.
Research project supported by regional ALF-funding, i.e. funding for clinical research from the Västra-Götalands
Sewage samples can be seen as pooled feces samples from a large number of individuals. As a complement to traditional patient-based screening,
Research project funded by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management with 9.512 MSEK for 2014-2017. The application group consisted of Jerker Fick (Umeå university, main project leader), Berndt Björlenius (Royal Institute of Technology), Leif Norrgren (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) and Joakim Larsson (University of Gothenburg). Additional
Framework project funded by the Swedish Research Council VR 2014-2017 with 11.4 MSEK. NoCure is led by Joakim Larsson in collaboration with Erik Kristiansson (Chalmers) and Örjan Samuelsen (University Hospital of North Norway).
The transfer of carbapenem resistance genes from harmless environmental microorganisms or human and animal commensals to pathogenic bacteria threatens the use of our last line of
Strong Research Environment funded by FORMAS 2012-2016 with 25 MSEK. INTERACT is led by Joakim Larsson in collaboration with professors Dan Andersson (UU), Hans Blanck (GU) and Mats Tysklind (UmU). Programme website: www.interact.gu.se
INTERACT is expected to provide crucial input to environmental regulatory agencies, as well as the health care, water and shipping sectors.
Project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to the University of Alberta, CA (Prof Nicholas Ashbolt) 2017-2021 with 2.1 Million CAD. The Larsson group is participating in the project with regards to antibiotic resistance research.
Drinking water treatment and sanitary waste management are considered the most important environmental public health achievements for infectious disease prevention. However, population growth, loss of environmental services and climate change are forcing communities to explore opportunities that treat municipal wastewater to allow its safe return for community uses or harvest rain/stormwater for various non-drinking water uses (all referred to here as wastewater reuse). There are also multiple synergies when wastewater reuse is considered within a broader, one-water approach that provides economic opportunities for society to reduce water service costs, provide resiliency to floods/droughts and promotes public health improvements while meeting future water demands. While wastewater reuse has been accepted in various arid, warm regions (including Arizona, California, Israel & Australia), Canada's cold climate poses uncharacterized challenges to wastewater treatment (e.g. sudden cold-water snowmelt events reducing treatment efficacy) and therefore uncertainty in the potential risks to human health posed by the recovered water. There is also a lack of international agreement on reuse guidelines/regulations that are protective of human health. Lastly, informed citizens are increasingly aware of new disease-causing agents produced by modern societies (e.g., antibiotic-resistant bacteria and respiratory pathogens that grow in distributed waters such as Legionella) and seek to engage in decision-making for new water services. Hence, water reuse strategies require an understanding of the public's perceptions and receptivity to wastewater reuse as well as technical understanding of how to control key hazards - major elements of the proposed participatory water reuse framework to engender trust in government and utilities to provide safe reuse water that communities seek to have in an equitable way to address Canada's $90 billion water service infrastructure deficit.
HEARD is a project funded by the US National Science Foundation (2 million USD 2015-2020) with strong international collaboration, focusing on quantifying the role that wastewater treatment plays in global dissemination of antimicrobial resistance. HEARD brings together experts in environmental microbiology, environmental chemistry, and environmental engineering in an effort to address this global threat.
The project is coordinated by Peter Vikesland and Amy Pruden at Virginia State University, but the partnership spans the globe with members in the United States, China, India, Portugal, the Phillipines, Sweden (Joakim Larsson) and Switzerland.
Funding for two PhD student from the Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research 2012-2015 to Joakim Larsson and Hans Blanck
One of the primary goals for Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research is to coordinate marine environmental research in Gothenburg and to bring together scientists from different disciplines. This interdisciplinary project combines competence from the Health Faculty and the Natural Science Faculty to address potential drivers for the development of antibiotic resistance, one of the most urgent threats to human health globally. Bacteria often carry resistance elements to metals and biocides together with resistance elements to antibiotics. Thus, a selection pressure from metals and biocides may select also for antibiotic resistance. By combining our competences in large-scale DNA sequencing and bacterial biofilm ecology, this project will address the risks for the promotion of antibiotic resistant bacteria, through indirect selection pressures, in the marine environment.
Strong Research Environment funded by the Swedish Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) 2012-2016 with 25 MSEK. The program, coordinated by Dr Thomas Backhaus, involves 12 partners from the Gothenburg region. The JL group is mainly involved in work on bacterial metagenomics.
Mixtures of toxic chemicals regularly occur in our coastal ecosystems. NICE develops instruments for monitoring their ecological effects, as required by the Water Framework Directive and needed for identification of the relevant pollutants in the field. The NICE tools will be evaluated in field studies. We will suggest options for environmental regulation of chemical mixtures, thus providing input to the water management in Västra Götaland. Reference and contaminated sites mainly on the Swedish coast will be selected in co-operation with stakeholder authorities and subjected to deeper ecotoxicological investigations. Chemical monitoring data will initially be used for pinpointing the pollutants at each site. These will be ranked according to their expected environmental impact and then further investigated by extended chemical analysis. Ecotoxicological effect profiles ("fingerprints") of the priority pollutants will be recorded for microbial communities, invertebrates and fish, using classic biomarkers, population level endpoints, ecological effect indicators (PICT) and advanced fingerprints based on (gen-)OMICs. The fingerprints will be used to detect effects in the environment, providing causal links between the mere presence of pollutants and their ecological impact of a site. The effect profiles will be aggregated into models for site-specific ecological impacts, which will be amended, if needed, to take into account the presence of unknown pollutants and interactions.
Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Gothenburg, Guldhedsgatan 10, SE-413 46, Göteborg
Guldhedsgatan 10a, 5th floor
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