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An ecological approach to antimicrobial resistance: genes, hosts, and populations

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To date, investigation and policy development relating to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) have focused largely on describing patterns of resistance to individual antimicrobials, often from restricted data sources. What this approach fails to accommodate is the complexity of AMR , such as genetic linkage of resistance determinants, which could potentially lead to inaccurate inference. In this presentation, novel approaches to the epidemiology of AMR are described, taking an ecological perspective and examining several key issues: The relative contribution to AMR from animal and human populations; the potential differences between active and passive surveillance of AMR ; the associations of age, antimicrobial treatment and a shared environment with AMR diversity; and the relationships between AMR phenotype and genotype. These approaches provide a framework for similar evaluations in other host-pathogen combinations in other settings, providing opportunities to develop a richer understanding of the epidemiology of resistance to inform future policy.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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