The use of enormous amounts of antibiotics in recent years in human and veterinary medicine, as well as in livestock farming and aquaculture, lead to significant increases of antibiotics in environmental media and of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) at clinical level. Resistant and multiresistant bacteria pose a certain risk to human health, since a treatment of infections with these bacteria might be challenging. The development and establishment of PCR- and cultivation-based methods is required, to better understand and evaluate the environmental role in transfer processes and spread of ARGs. In this respect my work is focused on:
- Development of a long-amplicon (LA) qPCR-method for quantification of long ARG sequences.
- Fractionation of environmental samples in fractions of free DNA, viral DNA and bacteria to investigate the
relevance of the individual groups.
- Optimization of cultivation-based methods for the specific application on environmental samples.
- Investigation of ARG-elimination during drinking water treatment processes.