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Spatiotemporal distribution of antimicrobial resistant organisms in different water environments in urban and rural settings of Bangladesh

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posted on 20.09.2022, 08:27 authored by Muhammad Asaduzzaman, Emily RoushamEmily Rousham, Leanne Unicomb, Md Rayhanul Islam, Mohammed Badrul Amin, Mahdia Rahman, Muhammed Iqbal Hossain, Zahid Hayat Mahmud, Mark Szegner, Paul WoodPaul Wood, Mohammad Aminul Islam
The spatial distribution of clinically important antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and associated genes is important to identify the environmental distribution of contamination and ‘hotspots’ of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). We conducted an integrated survey of AMR in drinking water, wastewater and surface water (rivers and ponds) in three settings in Bangladesh: rural households, rural poultry farms, and urban food markets. Spatial mapping was conducted via geographic information system (GIS) using ArcGIS software. Samples (n = 397) were analyzed for the presence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-Ec), carbapenem-resistant E. coli (CR-Ec) and resistance genes (blaCTX-M-1, blaNDM-1). In rural households, 5% of drinking water supply samples tested positive for ESBL-Ec, and a high proportion of wastewater, pond and river water samples were positive for ESBL-Ec (90%, 76%, and 85%, respectively). In poultry farms, 10% of drinking water samples tested positive for ESBL-Ec compared to a high prevalence in wastewater, pond and river water (90%, 68%, and 85%, respectively). CR-Ec prevalence in household wastewater and pond water was relatively low (8% and 5%, respectively) compared to river water (33%). In urban areas, 38% of drinking water samples and 98% of wastewater samples from food markets tested positive for ESBL-Ec while 30% of wastewater samples tested positive for CR-Ec. Wastewaters had the highest concentrations of ESBL-Ec, CR-Ec, blaCTXM-1 and blaNDM-1 and these were significantly higher in urban compared to rural samples (p < 0.05). ESBL-Ec is ubiquitous in drinking water, wastewater and surface water bodies in both rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. CR-Ec is less widespread but found at a high prevalence in wastewater discharged from urban food markets and in rural river samples. Surveillance and monitoring of antibiotic resistant organisms and genes in waterbodies is an important first step in addressing environmental dimensions of AMR.


Spatial and temporal dynamics of AMR transmission from the outdoor environment to humans in urban and rural Bangladesh

Natural Environment Research Council

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Global Health Equity Scholars Program - D43 Fogarty Training

Fogarty International Center

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University of Oslo, Norway



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • Geography and Environment

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Science of The Total Environment








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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Prof Emily Rousham. Deposit date: 12 September 2022

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