With over 1,600 downloads, the scientific article 'Towards a research agenda for water, sanitation and antimicrobial resistance', was one of the most-read articles of IWA Publishing in 2017. The article published in the Journal of Water and Health was a co-publication by RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and experts from several countries and WHO .
With respect to a strategic research agenda on water, sanitation and hygiene and AMR, WHO organised a workshop ‘Developing a Research Agenda for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) and Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)’. Input from the scientific community of water professionals was solicited on the role of the environment in the spread of AMR, mostly antibiotic resistance, and possible adverse health outcomes of environmental exposures in order to identify knowledge gaps and to develop a research agenda for WaSH aspects of AMR.
This workshop resulted in three main conclusions. The first conclusion was that guidance is needed on how to reduce the spread of AMR to humans via the environment and to introduce effective intervention measures. Second, human exposure to AMR via water and its health impact should be investigated and quantified, in order to compare with other human exposure routes, such as direct transmission or via food consumption. Finally, a uniform and global surveillance strategy that complements existing strategies and includes analytical methods that can be used in low-income countries too is needed to monitor the magnitude and dissemination of AMR. The article describes the presentations, input, discussions, discussion and results of the workshop as building blocks for a research agenda for water, sanitation and AMR.