The workgroup is headed by Associate Professor Polina Galitskaya who recently received a RFBR grant for the project.
The research is dedicated to antibiotic resistance spread processes. The group tries to find out which antibiotics are prevalent in the environment, how many consumers of contaminated products actually acquire the resistance.
Dr. Galitskaya explains, «Excrement of domestic cattle is basically a time bomb – it contains both antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant microbes. Manure is used for fertilization works. Bacteria from these fertilizers can transfer their resistant genes to soil bacteria».
Soil microflora becomes resistant to antibiotics and thus not only immune to any treatment (therefore leading to the inevitable loss of diseased plants) but also dangerous to humans who later consume the products.
Dr. Galitskaya continues, «Our results can be used in medicine and agriculture. We can create a map of antibiotic prevalence in different regions and help appropriate public agencies adjust their treatment strategies. We also undertake another research that is dedicated to manure treatment in order to remove antibiotic-resistant bacteria from fertilizing agents». This new project will be worked on together with Indian colleagues.
The group researched a number of agricultural producers in Tatarstan and Mary El. All manure and dung samples contained amounts of bacteria with antibiotic-resistant genes.
Further research will be dedicated to soil pollution levels and their connection to resistant bacteria occurrence.