EMBARK: Establishing a Monitoring Baseline for Antibiotic Resistance in Key environments
Research Project, 2022 – 2023

There is a growing recognition that interventions within the healthcare sector are not enough to curb the development of antibiotic resistance. Instead, a one-health perspective to control antibiotic resistance also outside of the healthcare setting is needed.
Unfortunately, we lack comprehensive reference data for resistance in most environments, meaning that there is little knowledge on the range of background abundance and prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) occurring naturally, impeding monitoring efforts. Furthermore, the few milieus where reference data exist are biased towards a few types and there is no standardized methodology or any well-defined set of relevant ARGs that are used for monitoring. This project will solve or alleviate these problems by integrating several approaches under one umbrella framework. We will 1) establish baseline ranges for background ARG abundances and diversity in different environments, 2) standardize different methods for monitoring ARGs and provide a means for making them comparable, 3) identify sets of priority target ARGs for monitoring, 4) develop methods to detect emerging resistance threats and thereby provide an early-warning system for resistance, and 5) suggest a monitoring scheme that can be used in a modular fashion depending on the available resources. Establishing a coherent monitoring scheme is imperative for efficient monitoring, which in turn is essential to limit resistance development in the future.


Johan Bengtsson-Palme (contact)

System Biology


Swedish Research Council (VR)

Project ID: 2019-00299
Funding Chalmers participation during 2022–2023

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Health Engineering

Areas of Advance


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