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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313968

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANURE MANAGEMENT FOR REDUCTION OF GAS EMISSIONS, NUTRIENTS, AND PATHOGENS

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Antibiotics in agroecosystems: state of the science “ARASOS” workshop summary

Author
item MCLAIN, JEAN - University Of Arizona
item SNOW, DANIEL - University Of Nebraska
item Durso, Lisa
item SALLACH, JOHNATHAN - Desiderio Finamore Veterinary Research Institute (FEPAGRO)

Submitted to: Scientific and Technical Review
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/11/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: In August 2014, the Biosphere2 Conference Center in Oracle, Arizona was the site of a sunny three-day workshop on “Antibiotics in Agroecosystems: State of the Science.” Attended by 42 people, participants included scientists and others from academia, government agencies (including EPA and USDA), and industry. Over the past two decades, there has been extensive research on the correlation between the use of antimicrobials and the development of antibiotic resistance (AR) in clinically relevant human and foodborne pathogens. Workshop organizers and attendees first agreed that, in order to facilitate the goal of reducing the transfer of AR from agroecosystems to human clinical settings, it is essential to better understand the natural levels, and the fate and transport of specific types of AR. Currently, there is no consensus on which antibiotics, which types of resistance, or which specific AR genes are most relevant to the scientific study of how agricultural antibiotic use impacts human health. In light of the urgent need expressed by the World Health Organization for “internationally recognized principles for risk assessment…related to antimicrobial resistance owing to non-human use of antimicrobials” (WHO, 2009), there are yet-unaddressed issues among the research community involved in environmental tracking of antibiotics, AR bacteria and AR genes. One solution would be to develop a set of more standardized and rigorously validated methods that can be used across the farm-to-fork continuum to inform food safety risk assessment models.

Technical Abstract: In August 2014, the Biosphere2 Conference Center in Oracle, Arizona was the site of a sunny three-day workshop on “Antibiotics in Agroecosystems: State of the Science.” Attended by 42 people, participants included scientists and others from academia, government agencies (including EPA and USDA), and industry. Over the past two decades, there has been extensive research on the correlation between the use of antimicrobials and the development of antibiotic resistance (AR) in clinically relevant human and foodborne pathogens. Workshop organizers and attendees first agreed that, in order to facilitate the goal of reducing the transfer of AR from agroecosystems to human clinical settings, it is essential to better understand the natural levels, and the fate and transport of specific types of AR. Currently, there is no consensus on which antibiotics, which types of resistance, or which specific AR genes are most relevant to the scientific study of how agricultural antibiotic use impacts human health. In light of the urgent need expressed by the World Health Organization for “internationally recognized principles for risk assessment…related to antimicrobial resistance owing to non-human use of antimicrobials” (WHO, 2009), there are yet-unaddressed issues among the research community involved in environmental tracking of antibiotics, AR bacteria and AR genes. One solution would be to develop a set of more standardized and rigorously validated methods that can be used across the farm-to-fork continuum to inform food safety risk assessment models.