Assessing Health and Environmental Risks Posed by Antimicrobial Resistance in Water


Managing the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of today’s greatest public health challenges. There is a growing body of monitoring data on the occurrence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes in drinking water and wastewater, but it is unclear how to interpret and act upon the data.

This webcast presented the findings from Critical Evaluation and Assessment of Health and Environmental Risks from Antibiotic Resistance in Reuse and Wastewater (4813), which sought to increase understanding of the implications of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and resistance genes in various water matrices. Horizontal gene transfer factors that can be used to assess the risks of AMR in water will be discussed, along with a modified risk framework. Three risk assessment case studies will demonstrate how the framework can be applied to address practical questions in water treatment and reuse. Finally, a database of concentrations of resistant bacteria and resistance genes will be presented to inform future risk assessment efforts in the water sector. This webcast builds on the recent WRF webcast “Standardizing Methods for Monitoring Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria/Resistance Genes in Wastewater, Surface Water, and Recycled Water,” which focused on standardization of culture-, qPCR-, and metagenomic-based AMR monitoring targets.


  • Kerry Hamilton, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and Biodesign Institute Center for Environmental Health Engineering, Arizona State University
  • Amy Pruden, PhD, W. Thomas Rice Professor and University Distinguished Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech
  • Emily Garner, PhD, Assistant Professor in Environmental Engineering, West Virginia University


  • Lola Olabode, BCES, MPH, Research Program Manager, The Water Research Foundation