Pruden said reducing the spread of antibiotic resistance is a critical measure needed to prolong the effectiveness of currently available antibiotics. This is important since "new drug discovery can no longer keep pace with emerging antibiotic-resistant infections," Pruden said.
Pruden's unique expertise in characterizing environmental sources and pathways of antibiotic resistance has garnered her as lead of a new NSF RAPID grant to study the recent Colorado flood's effect on antibiotic resistance genes.
For more than 10 years, this research team has monitored the watershed of the South Platte River Basin, southwest of Denver. "We have already generated a robust data set of antibiotic resistance genes and antibiotics, as well as a unique interdisciplinary watershed-scale approach for characterizing the land-use on their distribution," Pruden explained.
The recent Colorado flooding occurred during the week of Sept. 9, 2013, with flood waters affecting 17 counties over a spread of 200 miles north to south, transporting enormous loads of sediment and transforming the semi-arid landscape of the Front Range of Colorado.
When an antibiotic is consumed, researchers have learned that up to 90 percent passes through a body without metabolizing. This means the drugs can leave the body almost intact through normal bodily functions.In the case of agricultural areas, excreted antibiotics can then enter stream and river environments through a variety of ways, including discharges from animal feeding operations, fish hatcheries, and nonpoint sources such as the flow from fields where manure or biosolids have been applied. Water filtered through wastewater treatment plants may also contain used antibiotics.
Consequently, these releases become "potential sources of antibiotic resistance genes," said Pruden.
The overall goal of their new research grant is to take advantage of the knowledge gained from the flooding in Colorado to help clarify what mechanisms control the fate and transport of antibiotic resistance genes originating from wastewater treatment plants and animal feeding operations in the watershed."Our overarching hypothesis is that two main mechanisms drive antibiotic resistance gene dissemination: selection by antibiotics and/or metals and the transport via physical processes such as sediment transport," Pruden said.
Their method will be to compare the antibiotic resistance elements in water and sediment samples along a defined pristine-urban-agricultural river gradient from before and after the flood.They will also compare antibiotics and metals in water and sediment samples along a defined pristine-urban-agricultural river gradient and examine the correlation with antibiotic resistance genes from before and after the flood.
"We believe our research will have vital implications for the development of effective policy and management practices to prolong the useful lifespan of antibiotics critical to human and animal health," Pruden said.
Emily Lipscomb, of Swanton, Md., an NSF graduate research fellow, will help carry out the project along with assistance from undergraduate students alongside the trio of faculty leading this work.
The College of Engineering (http://www.eng.vt.edu/) at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 6,000 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.Related Links
• Amy Pruden to spearhead $250,000 study on the building plumbing microbiome (http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2012/11/110112-engineering-prudenstudyplumbingmicrobiome.html)
• Virginia Tech engineer identifies pollution as a new concern for antibiotic resistance (http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2011/01/010511-engineering-pruden.html)This story can be found on the Virginia Tech News website:
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences