September Webinar

Monitoring antibiotic resistance in the natural environment

Tuesday, 28 September 2021
17:00 - 18:30 (EEST/UTC +3) / 15:00 - 16:30 (WEST/ UTC +1)

This months webinar we will discuss and explore the aspects of antibiotic resistance in nature, and how wildlife can be a bioindicator for antibiotic resistance spreading.

ARGs (Antibiotic resistance genes) are a natural part of evolution and as such are occurring in all environments where there are bacteria and living organisms, which includes even the most remote areas such as beneath the permafrost of siberia, or the guts of animals living deep within the rainforests. This is a very important thing to consider; antibiotic resistance is not confined to the clinical and healthcare settings where medicine is used.

Organisms in natural environments develop antibiotic substances to fight off potentially dangerous and invasive bacteria, while bacteria adapt and share antibiotic resistance genes with each other. Just like the different animal species are in cooperation and conflict, so also are the micro and nano parts of nature. This means that we can find antibiotic resistance genes spreading even in natural areas where there is little or no human impact.

To keep our medicine safe from any future threats it is important to be aware by monitoring activity and prevalence of the antibiotic resistance genes as they develop. Also, to discover if any human impact has reached even the remote areas as our involvement has the potential of greatly speeding up the arms race happening in nature. Resistomaps mission is to make sure that we are able to have such awareness.

In this webinar we will have presentations by two speakers. The presentations will be followed by a roundtable discussion with questions from the audience.


Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in water environment and wastewater in Vietnam

Ikuro Kasuga

University of Tokyo, Japan


Hoang Huy Tran

National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), Vietnam


Dr. Tânia Caetano

University of Aveiro, Portugal

James M. Tiedje is University Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, and is Director of the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University. He received his B.S. degree from Iowa State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. His research focuses on microbial ecology, physiology and diversity, especially regarding the nitrogen cycle, biodegradation of environmental pollutants and use of molecular methods to understand microbial community structure and function. His group has discovered several microbes that biodegrade chlorinated pollutants and is using genomics to better understand microbial functions in their environment. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Editor of Microbial and Molecular Biology Reviews. He has over 500 refereed publications including seven in Science and Nature. He shared the 1992 Finley Prize from UNESCO for research contributions in microbiology of international significance, is Fellow of the AAAS (The American Association for the Advancement of Science), the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Soil Science Society of America, and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He was President of the American Society for Microbiology and the International Society for Microbial Ecology.

Dr. Windi Muziasari has gained years of experience and the know-how to monitor antibiotic resistance from environmental samples such as wastewater, rivers, lakes, soils and manure using a high-throughput gene profiling during her PhD and PostDoc at the University of Helsinki. She wanted other researchers at universities, research institutions and hospitals to gain easy access to this technology and that was why she moved from academia to entrepreneurship by founding Resistomap in 2018. Resistomap is the first company in the world to commercialize antibiotic resistance monitoring service in the environment. Headquartered in Helsinki, Resistomap's mission is to mitigate the spread of antibiotic resistance by providing robust tools for monitoring. Resistomap combines the molecular genetics method and data science to provide a service for antibiotic resistance monitoring comprehensively and fast. Currently Resistomap has served over 90 projects from 24 countries.