Waste water treatment facilities make for hardy bacteria

New Delhi, Dec 18 : Waste water treatment facilities can be hotspots for the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, making them immune to drugs that fight infection, a report said Wednesday.

Compiled by 26 experts from around the world, including Chand Wattal who chairs the department of microbiology at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in the national capital, the report, "Antibiotic Resistance - The Need For Global Solutions," said chlorination of drinking water can concentrate some antibiotic resistant genes.

"One of our key recommendations is for increased research on how to reduce and neutralise man-made antibiotic pressure and how to control the resistance pool in hotspot environments," Wattal said.

As per the report, antibiotic resistance arises when bacteria evolve mechanisms to withstand drugs used to fight infection.

Indicating that waste water treatment facilities are hotspots for the spread of antibiotic resistance, the report blamed vast increases in the use of antibiotics across medicine and agriculture for the menace.

"In the absence of adequate regulatory controls, treatment guidelines and patient awareness, this has led to a huge global surge in antibiotic resistance," it said.

"Antibiotic use in veterinary medicine and for growth promotion and disease prevention in agriculture, aquaculture and horticulture is also a major contributing variable," the report said.

Taking note of the serious threat to public health caused by the rapid loss of antibiotic effectiveness, the authors of the report called for concerted global action.

--IANS (Posted on 18-12-2013)

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