29 AprEnvironmental Science & Engineering SeminarInduction of horizontal gene transfer by mutagenic effect of environmental stressors
Induction of horizontal gene transfer by mutagenic effect of environmental stressors
  • David Mantilla & Nicolas Ausburger
  • Sunday, April 29, 2018
  • 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
  • Auditorium between Bldg 4 & 5 - Level 0
2018-04-29T16:002018-04-29T17:00Asia/RiyadhInduction of horizontal gene transfer by mutagenic effect of environmental stressorsAuditorium between Bldg 4 & 5 - Level 0

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and societal development. In particular, AMR is of extreme relevance in water reuse settings, as wastewater constitutes a key factor in the environmental dissemination and emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Although wastewater treatment plant has been very effective in reducing regulated microbial contaminants, several studies have demonstrated potential selective enrichment of ARB post-treatment. In this seminar, we will provide evidence that common environmental physicochemical stressors (i.e. chlorination disinfection byproducts, UV and solar irradiance) enhance the acquisition rate of AMR in the environmental bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi. The insight of this research raises questions regarding the potential contribution of current disinfection practices, in the dissemination of AMR in environmental compartments.


David Mantilla
PhD Student
In 2010 David Mantilla received his bachelors in microbiology from Los Andes University, Bogota - Colombia. He then relocated to KAUST to pursue a masters in environmental science and engineering. In 2013, he was enrolled as PhD student under the supervision of assistant professor Peiying Hong. David’s primary research interest and line of work focuses on the strategies for dispersion and persistence of antibiotic resistant pathogens in the environment.

Nicolas Ausburger
PhD Student
Nicolas Augsburger earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA in 2015. He then joined Professor Carlos Santamarina’s Energy and Geotechnical Laboratory (EGEL) group in the Petroleum Research Center at KAUST to pursue an MS degree. His research investigated the significance of microbiology in porous hydrocarbon related systems. Upon completion of his MS degree, in 2017, Nicolas joined assistant professor Peiying Hong’s group as a PhD student and is currently researching transmission of antibiotic resistance in wastewater treatment systems.