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The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society

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Talks // Coming up // Cafe Sci: Antimicrobial Resistance In Rivers
20 June
Thursday
6:00pm

Cafe Sci: Antimicrobial Resistance In Rivers

Is Antimicrobial Resistance In Rivers A Public Health Risk? 

Freshwater environments, such as rivers and lakes, naturally harbour diverse microbes but are also subject to human- and animal-associated bacteria and contaminants. 

Growing rates of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria are a significant public health threat. Recent research suggests that person-to-person transmission alone may not fully explain how the current levels of drug-resistant infections are maintained in the general public and suggest that other sources, such as the natural environment, could be an important contributor. For example, wastewater and agricultural run-off are strongly linked to increased levels of antimicrobial resistance in riverine bacteria, thereby increasing the risk of transmission.

The increasing popularity of recreational activities, like river swimming in the UK, has raised concerns about people’s exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Although emerging evidence suggests a link between spending time in these environments and resistant infections, research remains limited.

To address this, Elitsa Penkova will outline her PhD project which investigates the potential health risks of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in rivers and lakes through three key studies: a systematic review assessing the current evidence on this topic; an online health questionnaire investigating the risk of experiencing illness after a river swim; and an epidemiological study (the 'Poo-Sticks' survey) directly investigating links between exposure to faecally-polluted water and the risk of gut colonisation by resistant bacteria in river swimmers.

About the speaker:

Elitsa Penkova is an evolutionary (micro-) biologist now transitioning to an environmental epidemiologist, researching bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Her goal is to produce research that offers compelling evidence for policy makers, ultimately aimed at safeguarding public health.  

About Café Sci:

Café sci events feature a short talk by an expert on a scientific topic, followed by a lengthy discussion where any and all audience participation is highly encouraged!

Cafe Sci: Is Antimicrobial Resistance In Rivers A Public Health Risk? 
 
Thursday 20th June 6pm

Tickets: £2.50

A £1 Poly Fund payment is added to each ticket sold

 
 
 

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