Antimicrobial Resistance Unit
Faculty / Institute
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
The UCM is one of the largest and oldest Universities in Europe, with more than 90,000 students. The Department of Animal Health includes 60 staff members, and is involved in multidisciplinary aspects of Animal Health, including viral, fungal and bacterial infectious diseases. Research in Antimicrobial Resistance is the most important activity of, including coordination of national and international project and teaching in official master degrees including Bases of Research in Veterinary Sciences, Food- Safety and Zoonotic Diseases.
The Antimicrobial resistance Unit, the Gonzalez Zorn group at the UCM, works on multidisciplinary research and evolution of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) since it was created, and works with human, animal, food and environmental microbiologists to unravel the molecular bases of spread of antimicrobial resistance genes and platforms. It is further associated to VISAVET, the Institute for Public Health in UCM., that leads, among others, the National center for Antimicrobial resistance or the European reference Lab for Animal TB. Further, a Large Animal P-3 husbandry facility is on site and internationally certified.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is today the greatest medical threat. Despite major efforts in controlling the emergence and spread of AMR bacteria, resistance is world-wide out of control. A major gap in this dilemma, is understanding how and when the genes that determine an optimal combination for a given pathogen are compiled and selected in different environments, using a One Health approach. In order to investigate this, combination of genomic analysis of wt bacteria from different ecological niches, together with in vitro and in vivo experiments, start to shed light into the complex scenario of gene flow and adaptation of acquired AMR genes and their platforms into novel bacterial hosts. A trade-off between fitness cost and resistance and transmission will ultimately define successful clones. Using these scenario, and in combination with in house MinIon and Illumina hybrid sequencing, we determine the flux of emerging antimicrobial resistance genes and plasmids world-wide.