Health for humans, animals & plants

HORIZON 2020 Project "ANSWER" - Antibiotics and mobile antibiotic resistances in treated wastewater: risks and innovative solutions.

Every year, 25,000 people in Europe fall victim to multi-resistant germs(ECDC/EMA Report 2009). Wastewater treatment plants polluted with wastewater from hospitals, industry, agriculture and private households are central distribution platforms of antibiotic resistance. Currently applied wastewater treatment technologies are not able to remove antibiotics and antibiotic resistance satisfactorily. Recycled water used as drinking water or for soil irrigation is a potential source of these resistances. Together with a new generation of young researchers, we are trying to find an "ANSWER" to the following questions:

  • What mechanisms now favor the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in wastewater and sewage sludge?
  • What are the risks associated with the application of treated water?
  • What methods, what interventions can be brought to bear to contain the spread of antibiotic resistance from this source?
  • What information is needed to provide legislators with a means to intervene in an evidence-based regulatory manner to protect the public?

18 institutions from 9 countries will work together on this for four years. AGES will train a young researcher at the Institute of Medical Microbiology in direct cooperation with the Vienna University of Technology and together they will investigate issues related to the horizontal gene transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater and sewage sludge. AGES is contributing its many years of expertise in the field of real-time PCR detection of resistance genes in soil and is providing scientific advice.

Project title: ANtibioticS and mobile resistance elements in WastEwater Reuse applications: risks and innovative solutions (ANSWER) Funding body: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks - HORIZON 2020 / EU research framework (ANSWER - H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015) Project duration: 48 months, start: October 2015 Website: TU Vienna press release

Project coordinator: Dr. Despo Fatta-Kassinos, University of Cyprus (Cyprus) Project leader Austria: Ass. Prof. Dr. Norbert Kreuzinger, Vienna University of Technology (Austria) Project Team: University of Cyprus (Cyprus), Environmental Institute (Slovak Republic), KWR Water B.V.. (Netherlands), Volcani Centre (Israel), Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spain), Adventech (Portugal), Universidade Catolica Portuguesa (Portugal), Technische Universitaet Dresden (Germany), Universita degli studi di Salerno (Italy), Technische Universität Wien (Austria), AGES - Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (Austria), Abwasserverband Braunschweig (Germany), Biodetection Systems BV (Netherlands), HighChem (Slovakia), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italy), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), VA TECH WABAG GmbH (Austria)

Last updated: 18.01.2022

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