HyReKa Synthesis and final report Antibiotic-resistant pathogen from clinical, agricultural and municipal wastewater

  • chair:

    Exner, M. / Schwartz, T. / Schmithausen, R. 2020

  • place:

    Bonn, Karlsruhe, Dresden, Aachen, Bad Elster 2020

  • Date: Juli 2020


The spread of antibiotic-resistant (ARBs) bacteria with clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) from anthropogenic sources is an increasing problem. From areas with high antibiotic consumption, e.g. hospitals, livestock breeding or - for some species - simply from colonised individuals, these bacteria enter the aquatic environment via insufficiently or untreated wastewater and can return to humans, farm animals or crops via different routes, e.g. irrigation water (Gekenidis et al., 2018), via contact with surface water for recreational use (Leonard et al., 2018) or food: For example, antibiotic-resistant bacteria have recently been isolated from food such as fresh coriander (Blau et al., 2018) or meat products (Müller et al., 2018) purchased in Germany.

Within the HyReKA joint project it was to be clarified to what extent antibiotic-resistant bacteria or their antibiotic resistance genes enter the environment and thus also humans and animals, and from there can also influence the acquisition and spread of antibiotic resistance in clinically relevant bacteria. Possible feedbacks from the environment back to humans, whether in clinics or in everyday areas in contact with water or contaminated food, should therefore be identified in order to interrupt pathways for the spread of the risk bacteria and thus reduce hotspots of occurrence. The aim of an avoidance strategy must be to prevent the colonisation of humans and animals with these critical and risky bacteria through direct contact.


Download HyReKa final report (German)