The Swedish branch of the study is looking into how common multi drug resistant E.coli bacteria are among Stockholmers, and in an effort to find out, the country's public health agency has asked residents of the capital aged between 18 and 65 to send them samples of their poo.
Poo from a total of 250 people is due to be sampled and then analyzed.
“Through finding out the percentage among those we’re studying we will get a measure of how much antibiotic resistance there is in society. We think there's a growing trend of people who carry the bacteria. And even if we have a good idea of how it looks now, we need new studies to be able to follow developments,” Folkhälsomyndigheten microbiologist Sofia Ny told SVT.
If that sounds like a lot of poo, consider that corresponding studies are being done in Russia, Norway, Finland, Germany, Poland and Latvia as part of the Northern Dimension Antibiotic Resistance Study (NoDars) project.
NoDars aims to assess whether the level of antibiotic resistance in society is being overestimated because many of the monitoring systems currently used tend to focus on more serious types of infections like those in the blood, which are among the most resistant bacteria.