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:
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy