|Address:||G5703, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building (YEUNG),
City University of Hong Kong,
Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences
The Volcani Center, Agriculture Research Organization
Rishon Lezion, Israel
Antibiotic resistance (AR) has considerable epidemiological ramifications, predicted to reach pandemic proportions in the next few decades. Although AR is traditionally linked to hospitals and the community, there is growing evidence that it is also associated with the environment. Nonetheless, our understanding of environmental "resistomes" and their connection to AR in humans is currently an enigma. This lecture will focus on three studies that targeted AR in the environment. The first assessed the scope of AR in wastewater treatment facilities and attempted to elucidate the impact of treated wastewater irrigation on the dissemination of antibiotic resistance in terrestrial and food-associated microbiomes. It combined culture-based and culture independent methodologies, including a novel amplicon sequencing approach that specifically targeted antibiotic resistance genes carried on integron gene cassettes. The second study explored the abundance and diversity of microbial communities and antibiotic resistance genes in aerial ecosystems, comparing ambient air to dust storms tracked using satellite trajectories. Finally, the third study applied complex network analyses to investigate correlations between antibiotic resistance genes from metagenomic data to elucidate potential mobilization of antibiotic resistance genes between different ecosystems. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that antibiotic resistance dynamics and the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes in the environment is highly complex and is associated with a broad spectrum of multifactorial biotic and abiotic constraints that we are just beginning to understand.
Dr. Eddie CYTRYN is a microbial ecologist, whose research focuses on environmental dimensions of antibiotic resistance (in aquatic, terrestrial and aerial ecosystems) and on plant-microbe interactions. His lab implements both culture based and culture independent methods to delineate microbial communities and antibiotic resistance genes, with specific emphasis on next-generation sequencing based metagenomic approaches. He has published over 70 scientific manuscripts, reviews and book chapters in leading periodicals and is currently leading several national and international research grants; including a multinational European "PRIMA" grant entitled "Decision support-based approach for sustainable water reuse application in agricultural production (DSWAP)" and a large Israeli infrastructure grant aimed at developing bacterial biocontrol agents to combat soilborne plant pathogens.