Fundamentals in antibiotic resistance
If antibiotics kill bacteria, how do bacteria then become resistant at all?
The evolution of antibiotic resistance occurs in the meat industry, in hospitals and also wastewater. We all know that bacteria need to be exposed to antibiotics to evolve resistance, but we know less about the time-scale in which this happens. Can resistance evolve during a one-week treatment with a single antibiotic? And if so, did this happen because the antibiotic concentration was too high or too low? Designing an antibiotic treatment requires understanding of the survival strategies bacteria have. I will explain that scientist have a good understanding of how resistant bacteria survive and what benefit is of also understanding non-resistant bacteria.
Coco van Boxtel
During the past years many efforts have been made the reduce the use of antimicrobials in animals and therewith, reduce the negative consequences for humans. When antimicrobials are used (in humans, animals and crops), there is selection for antimicrobial resistant bacteria. When these resistant bacteria cause disease in humans or animals, antimicrobials are less effective for treatment and, in worst case, it might lead to death. Over the last 10 years, antimicrobial use in food producing animals has been reduced with almost 70%. Can we reduce more in the future? Can we raise animals with zero use of antimicrobials? To what level does this contribute to human and animal health?
Professor Jaap Wagenaar is veterinarian and professor inf Infectious Diseases at Utrecht University. He studies how bacteria are transmitted from animals to humans, how antibiotic resistance increased over the last decades, and what we should do to reduce that threat of resistance. Not only in the Netherlands but globally.
Dr. David Speksnijder is veterinarian with a combined job in veterinary practice working with farm animals and as scientist at Utrecht University. He works for his research with farmers and veterinarians to implement different strategies to reduce the use of antibiotics in the livestock. Like Jaap Wagenaar, David is doing part of his research in so called low and middle income countries.
Researcher | Veterinarian