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Windi Muziasari PhD. Resistomap CEO.

While antibiotic resistance is associated with 4,95 million deaths in 2019 and it will cost the global economy approximately 1-6% of the global GDP by 2050, it is also one of the six emerging environmental pollutants of concern (UNEP, 2017). So, how do antibiotics become pollutants? Antibiotics are not only used in humans, but also in animals. Antibiotic resistance in both human and animal guts is released into the wastewater or, through the application of manure as a fertilizer, into the soil. Therefore, it is very important to monitor and report on this environmental pollutants’ discharge. Resistomap provides a complete laboratory service for monitoring antibiotic resistance in any type of samples in the environment. It is involved in aquaculture, agriculture, hospitals, water research, wildlife and wastewater treatment plants.

How does Resistomap work? It collects samples directly from clients’ facilities, delivers them to its laboratories in Helsinki, analyses the samples and publicizes the results on an interactive dashboard. Users can then see the levels of antibiotic resistance in their samples, compare the results between samples and see the trends over time. The current clients that use the services of Resistomap are mainly researchers from universities and research institutes. As of 2019, Resistomap has taken part in 170 projects and analyzed over 5,000 samples in 38 countries. The main mission of Resistomap is to step-by step build a global map of antibiotic resistance. For more information on environmental dimensions of antibiotic resistance, Resistomap has a website with expert webinars and blogs on this topic.

Windi Muziasari ended her presentation with four open questions that she hopes experts can answer among themselves in order to fight antibiotic resistance, the ‘silent pandemic’: Who will use the data? What to monitor? Where to monitor? What actions should be taken?

Written by: Christine de Zwart