Posted: 22 January 2021

Closing: 05 March 2021

Category: MASTS

PhD Quantifying antibiotic resistance and antibiotic resistance selective chemicals in the River Almond Catchment Area – a baseline for risk assessment and intervention targets


The alarming rise in resistance to antibiotics is now widely accepted as being one of the most serious public health crises we face today. Recent studies indicate that the natural environment is a significant contributor to the emergence and transmission of resistant pathogens. Resistance is selected in environments polluted with antibiotic residues, heavy metals and other chemicals of emerging concern. The River Almond catchment area has all the ingredients of an antibiotic resistance transmission and selection “hotspot”. Including nine waste-water treatment plants, numerous combined sewer overflows and septic tanks, farm animal waste, mining discharge and landfill sites. 


This projects will quantify the levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria and genes in a river catchment, evaluate potential sources of antibiotic resistance pollution and assess links between potential sources, prevalence of resistance and concentration of chemicals which select resistance. Such surveillance is key to inform public health interventions and the baseline data gathered in this project will inform suitable intervention targets.