The role of the environment in dynamics of antibiotic resistance in humans and animals: A modelling study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Antibiotic resistance is transmitted between animals and humans either directly or indirectly, through transmission via the environment. However, little is known about the contribution of the environment to resistance epidemiology. Here, we use a mathematical model to study the effect of the environment on human resistance levels and the impact of interventions to reduce antibiotic consumption in animals. We developed a model of resistance transmission with human, animal, and environmental compartments. We compared the model outcomes under different transmission scenarios, conducted a sensitivity analysis, and investigated the impacts of curtailing antibiotic usage in animals. Human resistance levels were most sensitive to parameters associated with the human compartment (rate of loss of resistance from humans) and with the environmental compartment (rate of loss of environmental resistance and rate of environment-to-human transmission). Increasing environmental transmission could lead to increased or reduced impact of curtailing antibiotic consumption in animals on resistance in humans. We highlight that environment–human sharing of resistance can influence the epidemiology of resistant bacterial infections in humans and reduce the impact of interventions that curtail antibiotic consumption in animals. More data on resistance in the environment and frequency of human–environment transmission is crucial to understanding antibiotic resistance dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1361
Number of pages14
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • antibiotic resistance
  • One Health
  • mathematical model
  • AMR in the environment


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