Experts raise concern over waste dumping in rivers, say it’s giving rise to antibiotic resistance
Drawing attention to pollution of water courses from domestic waste, they found that antibiotic resistance genes were significantly more abundant in river sediments collected from the city than from upstream sites.
Environment plays an important role in transmission of bacterial pathogens and bacteria carrying antibiotic resistance genes (ARG)," Nachiket P Marathe at the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, told IANS via email.
This implied that domestic wastes pollution is enriching the river with bacteria carrying antibiotic resistance genes and river sediments from within the city contain antibiotic resistance genes which can be transferred between bacterial species.
Carbapenems are broad spectrum antibiotics and regarded as the ago-to’ drugs for serious infections, especially when multi-drug resistant organisms are a concern.
"Carbapenems are used for treatment when penicillins (eg.
Resistance against carbapenems leaves very few drugs for treating these bacterial infections.
According to Joakim Larsson, senior author of the study, professor and director of the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research in Gothenburg, the observance in the Pune river is probably not an exception, but it is "likely a rather common situation" in India.
"The river water is used by the villages downstream of the city as drinking water (with some preliminary treatment) and also for irrigation.
This would facilitate transmission of these bacteria carrying antibiotic resistance genes (including pathogens) back to humans.
This might eventually lead to increase in infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria," he added.