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Probing Antibiotic Residues and Resistance transfer in Aquatic Environments.


Probing Antibiotic Residues and Resistance transfer in Aquatic Environments.




  • Ongoing


Project website

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Sep 2021 - Sep 2024

Type of action

Joint Call


Probing Antibiotic Residues and Resistance transfer in Aquatic Environments

The project aims to study bacteria, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and antibiotic residues in groundwater, surface water, marine water environments in the North Sea and Atlantic including ports and aquaculture facilities.
Samples will be collected from sites with high and low suspected loads of antibiotic residues. Culture-based and sequencing-based methods will be used to identify ARGs.
Transfer of ARG-containing plasmids will be analysed using indicator bacteria Escherichia coli, Vibrio spp, and Shewanella algae as recipients. LC-MS/MS will be used to quantify the levels of different antibiotics in the collected samples. We hypothesize that local water microbiota, antibiotic residues and recipient species will affect the type of plasmids transferred.
The effects of the acquired plasmids on the physiology of our bacterial models will be analysed in experiments lab systems, and their influence on fitness and virulence in a live host will be studied by host interactions in a shrimp (Artemisia) model.
The project will determine common ARG plasmids circulating in European waters and their inherent properties as a fundament to understand and prevent their dissemination.

Expected research results

  • Data on ARG prevalence, antibiotic residues and water microbiota
  • Dissemination of ARG plasmids
  • Impact of ARG plasmids on eukaryotic hosts
Project consortium

Project coordinator: Åsa SJÖLING, Karolinska Institutet (KI) - Sweden

Communication contact: Åsa SJÖLING:, Jonatan MARTIN RODRIGUEZ: jonatan.martin.rodriguez(at)


Maria del Mar Tavio Perez, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGVC), Spain

Marc Heyndrickx, Flanders Research Insitute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), Belgium

Olav Vadstein, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway

Kartik Baruah, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden