SoilSoc Research

Research projects Thesis abstracts

Mechanisms behind the expansion of the soil meta-resistome

Institute / Organisation / Unit: Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen

PhD student responsible: Jeanette Berg

Supervisers / other researchers: Ole Nybroe, Kristian Brandt

Discription: The increasing occurrence of bacteria that are resistant to multiple antimicrobials constitutes a major threat to public health. Copper and zinc are potentially toxic metals used as growth promoters for animal production and copper is currently accumulating in agricultural soils receiving manure. It has recently been shown that copper may select for antimicrobial resistance among soil bacteria in the field. Hence, the limitations in usage of organic antimicrobials lower the burden of bacterial drug resistance, while the use of metals in agricultural production appears to worsen the situation. The above finding calls for a careful analysis of the conditions leading to copper impacts on bacterial resistances and it opens for novel research questions related to the mechanisms involved. The specific aims of the current project are:

  • To investigate whether Cu-mediated co-selection for antimicrobial resistance is a general
  • phenomenon resulting in predictable antimicrobial resistance patterns
  • To determine if specific bacterial groups contribute to increased antimicrobial resistance in copper contaminated soils.
  • To identify any genetic linkage between determinants for antimicrobial and copper resistance