Humanity is rapidly approaching a post-antibiotic era. Overuse of these miracle drugs has contributed to the emergence of many bacterial strains that are resistant to once-effective treatments.
Our interconnected world and bacteria's ability to quickly swap genes that confer resistance with distant relatives make mapping hotbeds of resistance especially important.
Where should we look?
Sewage would be a good place to start, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. The paper highlights how tracking antibiotic-resistance genes in bacteria found in urban wastewater treatment plants could help scientists and public health officials get a fast and accurate picture of resistance in a city.