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Open AccessArticle

Mapping and Analysing Potential Sources and Transmission Routes of Antimicrobial Resistant Organisms in the Environment using Geographic Information Systems—An Exploratory Study

1
Discipline of Economics and Health Economics and Policy Analysis Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway, H91 CF50, Ireland
2
Discipline of Bacteriology, School of Medicine and Centre for Health from Environment, Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, H91 CF50, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antibiotics 2019, 8(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics8010016
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the leading threats to human health worldwide. The identification of potential sources of antimicrobial resistant organisms (AROs) and their transmission routes in the environment is important for improving our understanding of AMR and to inform and improve policy and monitoring systems, as well as the identification of suitable sampling locations and potential intervention points. This exploratory study uses geographic information systems (GIS) to analyse the spatial distribution of likely ARO sources and transmission routes in four local authority areas (LAAs) in Ireland. A review of relevant spatial data in each LAA, grouped into themes, and categorised into sources and transmission routes, was undertaken. A range of GIS techniques was used to extract, organise, and collate the spatial data into final products in the form of thematic maps for visual and spatial analysis. The results highlight the location of ‘clusters’ at increased risk of harbouring AMR in each LAA. They also demonstrate the relevance of aquatic transmission routes for ARO mobility and risk of human exposure. The integration of a GIS approach with expert knowledge of AMR is shown to be a useful tool to gain insights into the spatial dimension of AMR and to guide sampling campaigns and intervention points. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; antimicrobial resistant organisms; sources; transmission routes; GIS; Ireland antimicrobial resistance; antimicrobial resistant organisms; sources; transmission routes; GIS; Ireland
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Chique, C.; Cullinan, J.; Hooban, B.; Morris, D. Mapping and Analysing Potential Sources and Transmission Routes of Antimicrobial Resistant Organisms in the Environment using Geographic Information Systems—An Exploratory Study. Antibiotics 2019, 8, 16.

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