Antimicrobial resistance in the environment – risk screening and prioritisation tool

Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major One Health challenge. While the environment is a potential transmission route of AMR there is a paucity of information about its true impact on human health. The purpose of this study was to address this issue by developing a screening and prioritisation approach to assess the most likely routes of environmental exposure for humans to resistant organisms and their significance for human health.

Ausvet’s framework focuses on direct human exposure to pathogenic AMR bacteria based on a qualitative risk assessment approach. Confidence is included and expressed in terms of degree of agreement between experts, and strength of evidence available. Detailed recommendations have been developed for supporting standard estimation of the variables along the risk pathways, and the framework has been embedded within a graphical user interface to facilitate computation, visualisation, and ranking of the results.

One of the major strengths of the framework is its adaptability and flexibility to test a wide variety of scenarios incorporating new microorganisms and changes to the population and/or the environmental compartments of interest. Although the modelling framework has been primarily developed for human health, its principles are broadly applicable to other resistant pathogens, including fungi and viruses, and other target species such as livestock or domestic animals.

Full report will be available soon.