Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) for environmental development and transfer of antibiotic resistanc
Van den Eede, C
Environ Health Perspect
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
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BACKGROUND: Only recently has the environment been clearly implicated in the risk of antibiotic resistance to clinical outcome, but to date there have been few documented approaches to formally assess these risks. OBJECTIVE: We examined possible approaches and sought to identify research needs to enable human health risk assessments (HHRA) that focus on the role of the environment in the failure of antibiotic treatment caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens. METHODS: The authors participated in a workshop held 4-8 March 2012 in Québec, Canada, to define the scope and objectives of an environmental assessment of antibiotic-resistance risks to human health. We focused on key elements of environmental-resistance-development "hot spots," exposure assessment (unrelated to food), and dose response to characterize risks that may improve antibiotic-resistance management options. DISCUSSION: Various novel aspects to traditional risk assessments were identified to enable an assessment of environmental antibiotic resistance. These include a) accounting for an added selective pressure on the environmental resistome that, over time, allows for development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB); b) identifying and describing rates of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in the relevant environmental "hot spot" compartments; and c) modifying traditional dose-response approaches to address doses of ARB for various health outcomes and pathways. CONCLUSIONS: We propose that environmental aspects of antibiotic-resistance development be included in the processes of any HHRA addressing ARB. Because of limited available data, a multicriteria decision analysis approach would be a useful way to undertake an HHRA of environmental antibiotic resistance that informs risk managers.
This manuscript was conceived at a workshop (Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment: Assessing and Managing Effects of Anthropogenic Activities) held 4–8 March 2012 in Montebello, Québec, Canada. The workshop was sponsored by the Canadian Society of Microbiologists, with financial support from AstraZeneca Ltd.; Pfizer Animal Health; F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd.; GlaxoSmithKline; Unilever; Huvepharma; the American Cleaning Institute; the Canadian Animal Health Institute; the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; Health Canada; and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
This is the final version of the article. Available from NIEHS via the DOI in this record.
Open access journal
, Vol. 121, pp. 993 - 1001
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