Australian Centre for Water
and Environmental Biotechnology

AWMC Seminar Program: Ji Lu & Jiaying Li

Unravelling roles of emerging environmental contaminants on promoting the spread of antibiotic resistance (Ji Lu)
Abstract: The intensive use of antibiotics in clinical, veterinary and agricultural purposes accumulate pressure on bacteria, result in the increasing occurrence of antibiotic resistance (AR). The presence of AR has been detected worldwide, and precisely, among pathogens that were previously sensitive to antibiotics. Although AR is a major concern to global public health, the expansion of this phenomenon in natural and engineered environments has been largely overlooked until now. In particular, the understanding of the factors and mechanisms that spread AR in urban water environments where various emerging anthropogenic contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), nanoparticles, water disinfection by-products (DBPs), heavy metals, ionic liquids (ILs) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are already extensively existed. Coexistence of the emerging contaminants and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) has been confirmed, implying the potential mutual effects between emerging contaminants and AR. However, the latent interactions between those emerging contaminants and AR have been largely overlooked so far. Thus, it is imperative to explore the potential roles of emerging environmental contaminants on inducing or promoting the spread of AR. In particular, there are two significant types of emerging contaminants (nanoparticles or triclosan (TCS) and triclocarban (TCC)), their occurrence in water-related environments might cause unknown effects on the dissemination of AR in natural or engineered ecosystems.
This thesis will address key challenges in global action on preventing the spread of microbial AR. This study will provide fundamental information about the antibiotic-like roles of emerging contaminations (mainly including Ag NPs, TCS and TCC) on promoting the spread of AR. The objectives of this study are to investigate the mutagenic response of bacteria in the presence of sub-bacteriostatic-level of Ag NPs and TCS/TCC conditions. As well as their effects on the horizontal transfer of ARGs among same species or different species. Moreover, the possible synergistically effects of Ag NPs and antibiotics in co-selecting ARGs will also be evaluated.


Understanding and modelling of the transformation of illicit drugs in sewers (Jiaying Li)
Abstract: Sewage epidemiology (SE) is a novel approach to back-estimate the illicit drugs consumption in a given area based on the analysis of illicit drug residues in the municipal wastewater. This approach can provide the timely drug-use information, but it still has several uncertainties at the current stage. The in-sewer stability of illicit drugs is one of the major uncertainties that hasn't been fully understood and addressed. In order to improve the accuracy of SE, it is necessary to have a comprehensive knowledge of illicit drugs transformation in the sewer networks. This study will investigate the transformation processes of illicit drugs in the typical sewer environment with the influences of different sewer-related factors. A SeweX-Drug model will be developed and integrated into the back-estimation step. In this way, the estimation uncertainty originated from the in-sewer stability of illicit drugs will be addressed and the reliability of SE will be further improved.




Event Details
Date & Time: 
Friday, 13 January 2017
9am - 10am
Venue: AIBN Building 75, Level 1 Seminar Room

Event Contact: