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Microbial contamination and antibiotic resistance in aquatic ecosystems

The presence of micropollutants in water, such as pesticides, antibiotics and biocides, is the consequence of their use in the industrial sector (farming, livestock…), at the clinic or in the home. The presence of these compounds may promote the selection of some microorganisms against others, altering the microbial composition of rivers, lakes and terrestrial ecosystems through which they run. Some microorganisms possess antibiotic resistance genes, which can also be transfer to other microorganisms with which they share a niche. This process would facilitate the dissemination of these genes, ultimately reaching humans.

Main objectives:

  1. How the presence of micropollutants can affect the distribution of different bacterial populations
  2. The presence of antibiotic resistance genes in these microorganisms
  3. Isolation of mutations in the presence of micropollutants, which allow resistance
  4. Study of fitness cost of mutations or genes acquisition providing resistance
  5. Resistance gene transfer among microorganisms and the role of micropollutants presence in the process