Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring & Modelling Programme ERAMMP Report-65: The development of a hazard map to inform an environmental AMR monitoring programme in Welsh rivers.

Stanton, I.; Tipper, H.J.; Singer, A.C.. 2022 Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring & Modelling Programme ERAMMP Report-65: The development of a hazard map to inform an environmental AMR monitoring programme in Welsh rivers. Bangor, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, 48pp. (UKCEH Project no. C06297, C210/2016/2017)

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) one of the most serious global health threats facing society. Anthropogenic sources of pollution, e.g., human, animal and industrial wastewater and agriculture, have been implicated in the dissemination, selection and transmission of AMR in the environment. This project was commissioned by the Welsh Government as a response to recommendations suggested in the Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring & Modelling Programme (ERAMMP)-55 report (Singer et al., 2021). This project aimed to undertake an evidence-gathering phase compiling data on sources of AMR and AMR driving chemicals (ARDCs) to the environment, and to use these data to inform the creation of hazard maps investigating the effects of catchment-scale pollution on AMR in Welsh river environments. This report details the outcomes of this project. For the evidence-gathering phase of this project, data was sourced that would influence AMR in the natural environment. This included data on anthropogenic sources with the potential to release and/or elevate concentrations of ARDCs, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), and antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB). Datasets were collated by searching government websites, asking key experts in the field and generating datasets that were previously non-existent (or not publicly available). A total of 54 datasets of relevance were identified and compiled in a spreadsheet along with their attributes (including URL, description, relevance to environmental monitoring of AMR, and spatial and temporal completeness). Hazard maps were produced from the number of datasets included in the data register, attributing a level of AMR hazard to each catchment within Wales. Firstly, a map showing catchments with potentially elevated levels of AMR in the environment was produced. This map was influenced by data indicating total population equivalents served by wastewater treatment plants, combined sewer overflows spills and duration, hospital bed numbers, and the presence of various agricultural inputs. The catchment with the highest unadjusted hazard score, indicative of having the highest likelihood of elevated levels of AMR in the environment, was the Dee Estuary catchment. Secondly, a map ranking catchments by likelihood of human exposure to environmental AMR was produced. This map was driven by the location of designated recreational bathing waters and wild swimming in catchments. The catchments with the highest potential likelihood of exposure of humans to AMR in the environment, were the Dwyfor, Dyfi Lower and Gwyrafi Seiont catchments. Finally, both the AMR abundance hazard map and the exposure map were combined to create a map showing the hazard posed by AMR abundance in catchments where human exposure is likely to occur. Notably, the Gwyrafi Seiont catchment had the highest adjusted hazard score for potential for AMR abundance in catchments where human exposure is most likely to occur (i.e. using these metrics, human exposure to high levels of AMR is most likely to occur). These hazard maps can inform and guide future AMR monitoring campaigns, as well as to test and refine our understanding of the drivers of AMR in the Welsh aquatic environments. The conclusions presented in this report are constrained by the availability of data. The availability of more granular, and temporally and spatially complete data will result in more refined estimations of AMR hazard. The hazard maps are to be used to test assumptions about AMR drivers in the aquatic environment in Wales.

Item Type: Publication - Report (Project Report)
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
Funders/Sponsors: Welsh Government
Additional Keywords: ERAMMP
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Date made live: 15 Nov 2023 16:22 +0 (UTC)

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