Adverse effects and Risk-benefit analysis (WG3)


A potential and promising weapon against bacterial growth and possibly the development of multi-drug resistant bacteria has been found in AntiMicrobial (nano)-Coatings (AMC). So far, little is known about the potential harmful effects of apllication of AMC in health-care setting, i.e. (i) the ecotoxicological risks (via various waste streams) as well as (ii) the potential induction of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  Therefore, in order to gurantee  a sustainability  of application of AMC, a  balanced risk-benefit analysis of widespread application of

AMC is needed,  to guide a ‘Safe-by-Design’ development of AMC. The focus of WP3 is on (eco)toxicological risks and possible introduction of antimicrobial resistance AMR resulting from the use of antimicrobial coatings (AMC).


The introduction of (nano)-coatings with new active components (e.g. nanosilver) along with different methods for cleaning (WG4) will cause a change in the emission of toxic agents into the environment. Active ingredients will slowly enter the ecosystem and cause exposure of human, livestock and microorganisms to low concentrations of different agents. These agents (e.g. AgNP, Ag+, CuNP, and TiO2) may cause adverse effects on organisms living in specific water and soil compartments. In addition, the slow infusion of active ingredients may induce resistance mechanisms that differs from current antibiotic driven mechanisms. The widespread introduction of such coatings therefore needs to be subjected to risk-benefit analyses. WG3 will focus on (eco) toxicological risks and the possible induction of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) resulting from the use of antimicrobial coatings (AMC).

Deliverables & Milestones

  • Inventory/review on current knowledge of impact of AMCs on ecosystems
  • Risk/benefit analysis based on inventory of available knowledge on (eco)toxicological aspects of AMCs and possible development of AMR to AMC
  • Recommendations on further development and application of AMCs in healthcare, taking into account the risk/benefit analysis
  • Expert statement on further research and policy with regard to prevention of antimicrobial resistance
  • Inform regulatory bodies and analytical services on risks and benefits of AMCs in healthcare

Work Group 3 Leader:

  • Anne Kahru, Head of the Lab. of Environmental Toxicology, National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, Tallinn, Estonia. Web: Info in Research Gate. E-mail:

Work Group 3 Vice-leader:

  • Merja Ahonen, senior researcher of Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, WANDER Nordic Water and Materials Institute, Rauma, Finland. Web: E-mail:

Work Group 3 Members:

  • Lars Fieseler, Head of Microbiology, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation (ILGI). Winterthur, Switzerland, E-mail:
  • Lia Rimondini, UNIVERSITA’ DEL PIEMONTE ORIENTALE, Novara, Italy. Web: Info in Research Gate. E-mail:
  • Siiri Kõljalg, Researcher of University of Tartu, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, and researcher of Department of Microbiology, Chair of Medical Microbiology and Virology. Web: E-mail:
  • Ivana Vinković Vrček, head of the Analytical Toxicology and Mineral Metabolism Unit, Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Croatia. Web: E-mail:
  • Minna Minna Keinänen-Toivola, Head of Smart Urban Business Research Team, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences. She is also a Vice Chair or COST Action AmiCI. Web: E-mail:
  • Kaja Kasemets, sen. res. rci. of Lab. of Environmental Toxicology, National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, Tallinn, Estonia. Web: Info in Research Gate. E-mail: