Verdenskort - Updated 3. maj 2016

Global sewage surveillance project: sequencing has started

Wednesday 25 May 16


Rene S. Hendriksen
Professor, Head of Research Group
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 62 88

The project for global surveillance of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance from sewage is in full swing, 80 samples from 63 countries have been collected.

With support from COMPARE and the World Health Organization, the global sewage surveillance project is starting to sequence the samples.

A video on the project and the process involved is available for viewing.

Metagenomic sequencing of human sewage and quantification of antimicrobial resistance genes and residues combined with epidemiological data is a possible way to determine the occurrence and burden of resistance in defined healthy human populations.

Recent developments in high‐throughput sequencing offer the ability to rapidly identify nucleic acids from various organisms in clinical and environmental samples. Sewage systems are recognized as an important source of human pathogens, especially in crowded settings with poor infrastructure.

The project will serve as proof‐of‐concept for applying metagenomic approaches, which could initiate a global surveillance of human infectious diseases including antimicrobial resistance from sewage collected in major cities around the world to detect, control, prevent and predict human infectious diseases.

Along with The National Food Institute, DTU (WHO Collaborating Centre and European Union Reference Laboratory for Antimicrobial Resistance in Foodborne Pathogens), several other partners from COMPARE are involved in this joint study with WHO, including Erasmus MC, The Netherlands, and National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM (WHO Collaborating Centre for Risk Assessment of Pathogens in Water and Food).