Probing Antibiotic Residues and Resistance transfer in Aquatic Environments.

aquaticpollutants funded projects

Project coordinator: Åsa SJÖLING 
Karolinska Institutet (KI) - Sweden

Communication contact: 


Jonatan MARTIN RODRIGUEZ: jonatan.martin.rodriguez(at)

Maria del Mar Tavio Perez Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGVC) Spain
Marc Heyndrickx Flanders Research Insitute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) Belgium
Olav Vadstein Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Norway
Kartik Baruah Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) Sweden


The project aims to study bacteria, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and antibiotic residues in groundwater, surface water, marine water environments in the North Sea and Atlantic including ports and aquaculture facilities.
Samples will be collected from sites with high and low suspected loads of antibiotic residues. Culture-based and sequencing-based methods will be used to identify ARGs.
Transfer of ARG-containing plasmids will be analysed using indicator bacteria Escherichia coli, Vibrio spp, and Shewanella algae as recipients. LC-MS/MS will be used to quantify the levels of different antibiotics in the collected samples. We hypothesize that local water microbiota, antibiotic residues and recipient species will affect the type of plasmids transferred.
The effects of the acquired plasmids on the physiology of our bacterial models will be analysed in experiments lab systems, and their influence on fitness and virulence in a live host will be studied by host interactions in a shrimp (Artemisia) model.
The project will determine common ARG plasmids circulating in European waters and their inherent properties as a fundament to understand and prevent their dissemination.

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aquaticpollutants funded projects

Expected research results

  • Data on ARG prevalence, antibiotic residues and water microbiota
  • Dissemination of ARG plasmids
  • Impact of ARG plasmids on eukaryotic hosts

For more details on the work plan and expected impact of the project consult the AquaticPollutants booklet.

Keywords: Human Health, Emerging Pollutants, Pathogens, Antimicrobial Resistance, Aquatic Ecosystems

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published on 2021/10/15 10:29:00 GMT+1 last modified 2022-07-08T11:14:47+01:00