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Tracking antibiotic resistance in circular agriculture: from swine waste to crop

  • 26 June, 2024
  • 13:30
  • Omnia Auditorium Wageningen University, Building 105, Hoge Steeg 2, 6708 PH Wageningen
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Technology
  • H.H.M. Rijnaarts
  • dr. N.B. Sutton

Antibiotic resistance (AR) poses a significant human health crisis, exacerbated by antibiotics’ overuse and misuse as growth promoters (AGPs) in swine breeding. This practice leads to swine waste, including swine manure (SM) and wastewater (SW), becoming reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). These ARGs circulate within the circular agriculture system when swine waste is used as organic fertilizer, and transfer to human food chain. To address this issue, this thesis aims to understand ARG production and transformation within the agricultural system. The results suggest that governmental AGP bans effectively reduce AR levels in SM, but traditional anaerobic digestion is inefficient in removing ARGs from SW. Agricultural soil demonstrates resilience against persistent SW ARGs, and wheat grown in SW-treated soils acts as a barrier, preventing soil ARG transfer to our food. Based on these findings, future research perspectives on controlling ARG dissemination in agricultural environments are provided.


Yi Wang

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