Plasmid-mediated antimicrobial resistance (pAMR) occurs in both humans and animals and requires One-health solutions, which include a holistic approach integrating veterinary, medical and environmental disciplines. Reduction of antimicrobial usage is one of the measures against further proliferation of pAMR. The prevalence of pAMR in poultry remains, however, high after reductions in antimicrobial usage, and new forms of pAMR arise (e.g. mcr-1). In humans, a parallel problem occurs rendering pathogens multi-resistant. Currently we are not able to assess the risk of new pAMR to invade the microbiome of an individual (human or animal) and whether it can be maintained within the microbiomes of a population of individuals. Understanding the key features of the microbiome determining the potential for invasion, colonization and evolution of pAMR is essential to lower the barriers for new innovative interventions.
This project will provide both mathematical models and experimental set-ups to assess the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of pAMR in the microbiomes of groups of chickens. We will develop mathematical models for within-animal and between-animal dynamics of pAMR. The mathematical models will be structured so that they can be generalized to humans and other livestock species in the future.