The Whelan lab has teamed up with Lisa Yon and her talented Envision DTP student Andrea Sartorius to study the effect of derelict lead mining sites on the type and distribution of antimicrobial resistance genes in the microbes that live in the environment. The rise of antimicrobial resistance is a major threat not only to human health, but also to animal welfare and the environment. Although there has been a (well-warranted) focus on the importance of antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic bacteria, emerging evidence suggests that AMR genes are also frequently identified in “commensal” organisms that can act as reservoirs of ARGs. We hope that this interdisciplinary team can leverage the detailed knowledge of specific environmental sites with new sequencing approaches and bioinformatic software to better understand the impact of mining on the spread of ARGs in these environments.

We are delighted to be funded by the University of Nottingham’s Flexible Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration Fund for this work. Stay tuned for the results…!