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Research platform on antibiotic resistance spread through wastewater treatment plants

Project description

A united front to battle the coalescence of dangerous bacteria in wastewater treatment plants

Wastewater treatment plants render sewage safe for release to the environment. Unfortunately, they are also one of the most important sources of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB). Microbes from humans, animals and the environment – many of which harbour antibiotic-resistant genes resulting from overuse of antibiotics – come together in a confined system. Standardised data collection and analyses regarding ARB and associated genes present in wastewater are vital to effectively managing future environmental and public health risks. REPARES will fill a critical need, supporting academic expertise and funding, while creating the structural framework for cooperation with public and governmental agencies via integrated databases, a web platform, and numerous outreach and informational activities.


Development and proliferation of antibiotic resistance is classified among major global threats by the World Health Organization. Sanitation of the water cycle is essential to sustain environmental and human health. Within urban water systems, public and governmental perception is rising on the role of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and their microbiomes as putative hotspots for the proliferation of antibiotic resistances, and the need for new quality criteria and installation upgrades.
However, because of methodological biases, our knowledge remains limited on the emission, fate and possible amplification or removal of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) across WWTPs. There is an urgent need to develop standardized methods and database for the accurate identification, characterization, and quantification of antibiotic resistances in such complex water matrices.
REPARES brings excellence in research on spread of antibiotic resistance in WWTPs through establishing cooperation of UCT with leading European innovators and internationally-renowned expert of the water-related antibiotic resistance field: UCP will share its expert leadership in wastewater-mediated antibiotic resistance; TUDelft will deliver methods to successfully apply for international projects; Wetsus will propel cooperation with the non-academic sector; AAU will integrate the REPARES database within the world-accepted MiDAS database.
REPARES aims at advancing the European community‘s know-how on antibiotic resistance across sanitation waterways, which in the future will bring society to closer achieve Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations. REPARES will act as an essential vector to disseminate information on antimicrobial resistance spread within European WWTPs beyond science and technology in order to reach the non-academic community by means of open events, popularization publications, and operation of the REPARES web platform.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 301 500,00
Technicka 5
166 28 Praha

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Česko Praha Hlavní město Praha
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (5)