PROJECTE Stopping Antibiotic Resistance Evolution (StARE)


European Union Water JPI/0001/2013. Project JPIW2013-089-C02-02




Célia Manaia (Universidad Católica Portuguesa, Protugal)


Dr. Sara Rodríguez-Mozaz


Dr. Marta Llorca and Dr. Saulo Varela dela Giustina


115.000 €

The occurrence of antibiotics in the environment, even at low concentrations, might have concerning consequences since they are associated to adverse effects and to antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and corresponding antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). One of the routes of release of antibiotics into the environment is through the discharges of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) since conventional wastewater treatment is not able to efficiently eliminate both, antibiotics, ARB and ARGs. The main objectives of StARE project (Stopping Antibiotic Resistance Evolution) is to provide information about the presence of antibiotics, ARB and ARGs during wastewater treatment and to evaluate the removal efficiency of advanced treatment technologies with the ultimate aim of protecting the environment, wildlife and humans.

StARE partners will collaborate in order to formulate harmonized protocols to measure antibiotic resistance genes and bacteria (ARG and ARB, respectively) in aquatic environments and to develop simplified and cost-effective protocols to reach a global database on ARB&G in aquatic environments. The study will be focused on the assessment of the occurrence of antibiotic residues, ARB&G and potentially interacting emerging chemical pollutants in the final effluent of urban WW treatment plants from different European regions. These regions are characterized by different patterns of antibiotic consumption and resistance occurrence giving a wide overview of ARB&G. In addition, part of the efforts will be devoted to the identification of the critical factors in WW treatment plants linked to ARB&G and develop and improve advanced WW treatment technologies and/or their combination with biological processes.

StARE project will provide knowledge of the impact of antibiotic resistance (AR) in wastewater and aquatic environments through the first comprehensive overview on ARB&G and developing methods for mitigation and a continuous assessment. These methodological guidelines and the establishment of a systematized vigilance will facilitate the assessment of the risk associated with ecological services and the human health.
This project will create a first Europe-wide dataset on the prevalence of AR and evaluate technologies in order to develop effective guidelines to be implemented or added in the future to the existing common legislations related to water (i.e., the DWD (98/83/ECC), the WFD (2000/60/EC) or the Waste Water Directive). Considering the future water scarcity and increased wastewater reuse, StARE project will contribute significantly to the climate change preparedness.