Over 2 million people are sickened and at least 23,000 people die in the U.S. of antibiotic resistant infections each year. Community acquired antibiotic resistant infections in humans were recently associated with environmental sources of antibiotic resistance. The environmental burdens of antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) are particularly important because pathogens can acquire antibiotic resistance from contact with free ARG (outside a cell), transfer of mobile genetic units (e.g. plasmids), or viruses, and then infect humans. A series of case studies will be presented towards understanding the sources and fate of ARG in engineered (i.e., wastewater and reclaimed wastewater) and agricultural systems (i.e., manure treated soil in the U.S., poultry farms in Nigeria).
About Dr. Nicole Fahrenfeld, Rutgers University
Dr. Nicole Fahrenfeld is an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rutgers University. She obtained her B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins Univesity and M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering from Clemson University. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Environmental and Water Resources from the Virginia Tech, where she stayed for her postdoc. Her research focuses on the fate and transport of microbial and organic chemical contaminants in surface and ground water. She has published research on microbial source tracking, biodegradation of munitions and crude oil, and antibiotic resistance.