Antimicrobial Resistance Manure Intervention Strategies



Research Project: 2018-06-01 - 2023-11-30
Total sum awarded: €1 494 136

Manure is one of the major sources of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment, since livestock animals consume the majority of antibiotics produced globally. Antibiotics together with antibiotic resistant bacteria are excreted to the environment via manure, and may significantly contribute to the transmission of and exposure to AMR in food, water, and air as exemplified for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Techniques for nutrient reduction in manure, such as composting and anaerobic digestion, exist and are started to be applied in a number of countries. These techniques can also reduce antibiotic resistance. However, to date, no studies simultaneously studied the reduction of all AMR components (antibiotics, bacteria and genes) by different manure interventions. In this project, we will measure the effectiveness of different manure treatment techniques on AMR reduction throughout the manure chain and analyse process parameters of influence. Both large-scale (centralised) treatment systems and small-scale (farm) systems will be evaluated in different national contexts with varying AMR prevalence. With culture dependent and culture independent methods, the abundance of antibiotic resistance and its mobility at different steps of the manure treatment processes is evaluated. We will focus on ESBLproducing Enterobacteriaceae, vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and MRSA, as well as metagenomic and qPCR analyses of antibiotic resistance genes, and quantification of antibiotic residues. Emissions of AMR from manure and manure treatment systems will be assessed, in order to determine risks of exposure. With input from workshops on risk perception with relevant stakeholders, these risk assessment outcomes will be communicated to improve awareness on antibiotic usage, to guide prioritising intervention initiatives, and to further comprehend exposure risks. Knowledge on the effectiveness of manure interventions on AMR transmission may contribute to reducing the AMR impact caused by the livestock industry.

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  • Ana Maria de Roda Husman, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Netherlands (Coordinator)
  • Edward Topp, University of Western Ontario, Canada (Partner)
  • Patrick Boerlin, University of Guelph, Canada (Partner)
  • Carmen Chifiriuc, University of Bucharest, Romania (Partner)
  • Peter Kämpfer, Justu-Liebig University, Germany (Partner)
  • Paul Hoeksma, Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands (Partner)

In Europe and Canada, animal manure is increasingly often processed before it is spread on land for fertilisation. Treatment for example exists of composting or digestion. In the ARMIS project, international partners are investigating to what extent these manure processing techniques can reduce antibiotic resistance. Sampling campaigns in Canada, Romania, Germany and the Netherlands are used to measure and model the presence of antibiotic resistance in manure, manure treatment products and manure processing plants. The risks that people are exposed to are also investigated: how big are these risks, how are they seen through the eyes of those involved and how can the risks be clearly communicated.