- Antibiotic resistance genes
- mRNA, miRNA, and lncRNA as disease biomarkers
- Pathogen detection in human samples and food
- Genotyping using animal and blood samples
Identifying antibiotic resistance genes in water
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be found in a variety of different water sources, such as improperly treated wastewater. These bacteria may also be present in environmental locations, such as streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. There is also a chance that drinking water can become contaminated, posing serious health risks. Numerous studies have been published using the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System to analyze antibiotic resistance in a wide variety of water samples.
In one recent study, researchers analyzed human feces and skin samples, water from sewage treatment systems, and water from rivers (Zhou et al. 2018). By utilizing a 296-primer panel for antibiotic resistance on the SmartChip system, they identified 234 unique antibiotic resistance genes that were present in the human samples. The antibiotic resistance genes were seven times more abundant in the sewage samples than the river samples. A closer examination revealed that 53 of the identified antibiotic resistance genes present in the sewage samples were directly linked to human feces—demonstrating a direct link between antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the gut and that found in environmental water sources.
Another recent study from a team at the University of Helsinki initiated a large-scale qPCR study with the SmartChip system on untreated raw influent samples and treated final effluent samples from dozens of urban wastewater plants across seven European countries (Pärnänen et al. 2019). The researchers were able to show that antibiotic resistance genes were more likely to be present in the wastewater of countries with higher antibiotic prescription rates. This first trans-Europe surveillance study sets a precedent for ways to monitor and track antibiotic resistance.
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Jiao, Y.-N. et al. Biomarkers of antibiotic resistance genes during seasonal changes in wastewater treatment systems. Environ. Pollut. 234, 79–87 (2018).
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