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      Review of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment and Its Relevance to Environmental Regulators

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          Abstract

          The environment is increasingly being recognized for the role it might play in the global spread of clinically relevant antibiotic resistance. Environmental regulators monitor and control many of the pathways responsible for the release of resistance-driving chemicals into the environment (e.g., antimicrobials, metals, and biocides). Hence, environmental regulators should be contributing significantly to the development of global and national antimicrobial resistance (AMR) action plans. It is argued that the lack of environment-facing mitigation actions included in existing AMR action plans is likely a function of our poor fundamental understanding of many of the key issues. Here, we aim to present the problem with AMR in the environment through the lens of an environmental regulator, using the Environment Agency (England’s regulator) as an example from which parallels can be drawn globally. The issues that are pertinent to environmental regulators are drawn out to answer: What are the drivers and pathways of AMR? How do these relate to the normal work, powers and duties of environmental regulators? What are the knowledge gaps that hinder the delivery of environmental protection from AMR? We offer several thought experiments for how different mitigation strategies might proceed. We conclude that: (1) AMR Action Plans do not tackle all the potentially relevant pathways and drivers of AMR in the environment; and (2) AMR Action Plans are deficient partly because the science to inform policy is lacking and this needs to be addressed.

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          Most cited references 202

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          Global antibiotic consumption 2000 to 2010: an analysis of national pharmaceutical sales data.

          Antibiotic drug consumption is a major driver of antibiotic resistance. Variations in antibiotic resistance across countries are attributable, in part, to different volumes and patterns for antibiotic consumption. We aimed to assess variations in consumption to assist monitoring of the rise of resistance and development of rational-use policies and to provide a baseline for future assessment. With use of sales data for retail and hospital pharmacies from the IMS Health MIDAS database, we reviewed trends for consumption of standard units of antibiotics between 2000 and 2010 for 71 countries. We used compound annual growth rates to assess temporal differences in consumption for each country and Fourier series and regression methods to assess seasonal differences in consumption in 63 of the countries. Between 2000 and 2010, consumption of antibiotic drugs increased by 36% (from 54 083 964 813 standard units to 73 620 748 816 standard units). Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa accounted for 76% of this increase. In most countries, antibiotic consumption varied significantly with season. There was increased consumption of carbapenems (45%) and polymixins (13%), two last-resort classes of antibiotic drugs. The rise of antibiotic consumption and the increase in use of last-resort antibiotic drugs raises serious concerns for public health. Appropriate use of antibiotics in developing countries should be encouraged. However, to prevent a striking rise in resistance in low-income and middle-income countries with large populations and to preserve antibiotic efficacy worldwide, programmes that promote rational use through coordinated efforts by the international community should be a priority. US Department of Homeland Security, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, US National Institutes of Health, Princeton Grand Challenges Program. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Antibiotic resistance is ancient.

            The discovery of antibiotics more than 70 years ago initiated a period of drug innovation and implementation in human and animal health and agriculture. These discoveries were tempered in all cases by the emergence of resistant microbes. This history has been interpreted to mean that antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria is a modern phenomenon; this view is reinforced by the fact that collections of microbes that predate the antibiotic era are highly susceptible to antibiotics. Here we report targeted metagenomic analyses of rigorously authenticated ancient DNA from 30,000-year-old Beringian permafrost sediments and the identification of a highly diverse collection of genes encoding resistance to β-lactam, tetracycline and glycopeptide antibiotics. Structure and function studies on the complete vancomycin resistance element VanA confirmed its similarity to modern variants. These results show conclusively that antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon that predates the modern selective pressure of clinical antibiotic use. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
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              Comprehensive evaluation of antibiotics emission and fate in the river basins of China: source analysis, multimedia modeling, and linkage to bacterial resistance.

              Antibiotics are widely used in humans and animals, but there is a big concern about their negative impacts on ecosystem and human health after use. So far there is a lack of information on emission inventory and environmental fate of antibiotics in China. We studied national consumption, emissions, and multimedia fate of 36 frequently detected antibiotics in China by market survey, data analysis, and level III fugacity modeling tools. Based on our survey, the total usage for the 36 chemicals was 92700 tons in 2013, an estimated 54000 tons of the antibiotics was excreted by human and animals, and eventually 53800 tons of them entered into the receiving environment following various wastewater treatments. The fugacity model successfully predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) in all 58 river basins of China, which are comparable to the reported measured environmental concentrations (MECs) available in some basins. The bacterial resistance rates in the hospitals and aquatic environments were found to be related to the PECs and antibiotic usages, especially for those antibiotics used in the most recent period. This is the first comprehensive study which demonstrates an alarming usage and emission of various antibiotics in China.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Microbiol
                Front Microbiol
                Front. Microbiol.
                Frontiers in Microbiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-302X
                01 November 2016
                2016
                : 7
                Affiliations
                1NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Wallingford, UK
                2Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs London, UK
                3Environment Agency Bristol, UK
                Author notes

                Edited by: Jose L. Martinez, Spanish National Research Council, Spain

                Reviewed by: Jose Luis Balcazar, Catalan Institute for Water Research, Spain; Celia Manaia, Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal

                *Correspondence: Andrew C. Singer, acsi@ 123456ceh.ac.uk

                This article was submitted to Antimicrobials, Resistance and Chemotherapy, a section of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology

                Article
                10.3389/fmicb.2016.01728
                5088501
                27847505
                Copyright © 2016 Singer, Shaw, Rhodes and Hart.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 2, References: 250, Pages: 22, Words: 0
                Categories
                Microbiology
                Review

                Microbiology & Virology

                antimicrobial resistance, amr, antibiotics, metals, biocide, plasmid, genes

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