24 November 2020

Antibiotic residues in sewage and agricultural run-off: can we determine safe thresholds to combat deadly superbugs?

From streams and lakes, to rivers and oceans, antibiotics are making their way into our waters in ever greater concentrations, increasing antibiotic resistance and risking a rise in deadly superbugs. Yet despite the potential implications for human health, current environmental risk assessment guidelines and regulations don’t take account of antibiotic resistance.

Dr Aimee Murray, Prof William Gaze, and Dr Isobel Stanton, from the University of Exeter, have developed a novel method to establish safe release limits for antibiotics and could, in the near-future, also help to identify highly-contaminated areas through environmental surveillance. You can read more about their work in this short blog post: http://bsac.org.uk/antibiotics-and-antibiotic-resistance-in-our-waters-are-we-up-a-creek-without-a-paddle/.

These findings are likely to have implications for the Environment Bill, which is scheduled to return to the House of Lords within weeks of this meeting.