Disease free water, a global health challenge, commands an international team effort

Vikesland, an expert in the optimization of drinking water disinfection practices, is the principal investigator for a new five-year $3.6 million Partnerships in International Research and Education (PIRE) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that is aimed at mitigating this global threat.

The NSF PIRE project that Vikesland and his international colleagues are undertaking seeks to halt wastewater derived antimicrobial resistance dissemination. They recognized that societal use of antimicrobial drugs and wastewater treatment processes collectively affect the fluctuations of pharmaceuticals, antimicrobial resistant organisms, and antimicrobial resistance elements. These patterns will vary across the world. They want to globally understand these scenarios.

Additionally, they propose to determine how receiving environment characteristics and wastewater treatment practices synergistically affect resistance dissemination, and then develop and test some novel approaches as to how to stop antimicrobial resistance dissemination.

Dr. Vikesland along with Virginia, Jake Metch, and Dr. Pruden all attended the kickoff meeting for our NSF sponsored PIRE project ‘Halting Environmental Antimicrobial Resistance Dissemination’ Project at IIT-Madras in Chennai, India.

Kathy Laskowski, of Virginia Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will assist with project administration and finances. Additional support from Virginia Tech India Center for Advanced Research and Education will enhance this global effort.