South African expert lectures on antibiotic resistance in aquatic environments
Through a project within the South Africa - Sweden University Forum, SASUF, a collaboration between professor Carlos Bezuidenhout and Umeå researcher Natuschka Lee started. Now the South African researcher is visiting Umeå and will lecture on 7 December about antimicrobial resistance in our environment – in watercourses, land and plants.
Text: Ingrid Söderbergh
Professor Carlos Bezuidenhout has gained national and international recognition as a leading authority on anti-microbial resistance in freshwater resources.
ImageNorth-West University in South Africa
South Africa - Sweden University Forum, SASUF 2030, is a collaboration between universities, organizations and authorities in Sweden and South Africa. Through the forum, Carlos Bezuidenhout participates in a SASUF project on "Microbial biotechnology" and "Diversity and health of pollinating insects and plants" together with researcher Natuschka Lee at the Department of Ecology, and Environmental Sciences and Anita Sellstedt at the Department of Plant Physiology at Umeå University. Natuschka Lee has invited and is hosting Carlos Bezuidenhout's visit to Umeå.
The team's research results have shown how valuable it is to focus not only on disease-causing microbes in humans, but how important it is to also research the microbes in different environments and how they can affect our environment and our society.
"Our collaboration has worked perfectly! It has been very interesting to study how our two countries react to ongoing environmental and climate change, as both of our countries are closer to the poles. Here, people have noticed more obvious symptoms of current environmental and climate changes compared to countries that are closer to the equator. We plan to seek research funds in continued collaborations - partly specifically around antimicrobial resistance, partly a continuation around insect microbiology and insect health," says Natuschka Lee.
During his visit to Umeå University, Carlos Bezuidenhout will also meet representatives of the Umeå Center for Microbial Research, UCMR, and discuss possible future collaborations with infection researchers.
About the lecture:
Title: Antimicrobial resistance in aquatic environments: examples and associated risks Target group: Open lecture. No registration needed Time: 7 December at 14:30-15:30 Venue: Stora hörsalen KBC (Carl Cempe salen)
Carlos Bezuidenhout, professor and Director for the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University.
About Carlos Bezuidenhout:
Professor Carlos Bezuidenhout is the principal investigator on several projects funded by the National Research Foundation and Water Research Commission of South Africa on antibiotic resistance in the aquatic environment. Bezuidenhout is currently the Director for the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University.
His research interests lie in aquatic microbiology, water, sanitation, health, and energy. For more than two decades he has diligently worked on tracking potential pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses in water resources. He has gained national and international recognition as a leading authority on anti-microbial resistance in freshwater resources. The work he does focuses on surface water, groundwater quality and water treatment in aquatic environments and highlights areas of concern. More importantly, it underscores how human health depends on water quality.
His research was at the forefront to raise awareness of the potential dangers of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms in water supplies in South Africa. This area has since become incorporated into research agendas in South Africa and globally.