Advanced Metagenomics, Sensors and Photocatalysis for Antimicrobial Resistance Elimination

Project Details


This proposal brings together experts on sensor technologies, water treatment and remediation from India with experts on environmental microbiology, meta-omics geochemistry and policy and industrial regulatory processes from the UK, to engage the issue of AMR proliferation in the environment. Specifically, we will focus on the potential for increased AMR due to aggravation by pharmaceutical waste entering waterways. This research would engage with the Indian pharmaceutical industry to study the AMR production 'metabolism', within a complex interplay of environmental geochemical and microbiological processes, in order to refine policy and improve regulatory control in pharmaceutical waste management. In brief, the inter-disciplinary research team from the UK and India will assess the life cycle of pharmaceutical waste water through analysis of chemical and AMR profiling surrounding small to medium pharmaceutical plants that discharge waste into Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs). CETPS are the main focus in this study for waste water antimicrobial contamination. Large plants now are committed to solid waste disposal. Microbial profiling will include abundance of antibiotic resistant genes and effects of complex microbial communities through a combination of metagenomics, digital droplet PCR and culture studies. In parallel, waste 'clean up' will be addressed through the the employment of low cost sensors to detect what residues are present in the waste and affordable photocatalytic technology to remove the residues before the effluent is discharged into the environment. Validation of these technologies will be carried out under laboratory conditions using site samples and maintaining the chemical and microbial profile obtained from our mapping work. Finally, due to the sensitive issues surrounding this project engagement with regulatory bodies and industry is critical. Utilising our data and technology we will be able to influence the creation of policies that work for all stakeholders, including local communities and the environment, thus reducing the impact of antimicrobial waste in the environment.
Effective start/end date1/11/2030/06/24


  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC): £853,044.00


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