Antibiotics in Sewage Needs Safe Thresholds to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotics in Sewage Needs Safe Thresholds to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

According to new research, the current understanding of safe antibiotic levels in rivers may not prevent the evolution of antibiotic resistance and sufficiently protect human health. The study implies the need to introduce thresholds to help fight the spread of resistant bacteria.

Around 70%  of the antibiotics we take as medicine end up in the natural environment, through flushed waste and discarded medicines, among other sources. The antibiotics combine with bacteria that are also present in the water, which can develop resistance within these environments. The bacteria can then transfer resistance to human-associated bacteria. In other words, antibiotics will not work.

Antibiotic resistance is recognized by the World Health Organization as a big threat. By 2050, there will be ten million deaths per year caused by antibiotics (and other antimicrobial drugs). Antibiotics will no longer work to treat common diseases, such as respiratory tract, or urinary tract, or sexually transmitted infections. The threat of resistance could raise the risk of getting infection after simple surgical procedures.

To prevent things to become worse as the evolution of resistance grows, a lot of research attempts to discover safe concentrations of antibiotics in wastewater that won’t add to resistance. New research by the University of Exeter and AstraZeneca (issued in Communications Biology), shows that current thresholds aren’t sufficient to halt the evolution of resistance.

The team discovered that fluoroquinolone concentrations similar to those found in the environment drive progressed antibiotic resistance, whereas macrolides did not. 

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are often prescribed to treat less severe bacterial infections.  

If you ever experienced health issues related to taking antibiotics (your doctor failed to warn you or the manufacturer did not add a warning to the medicine) you can contact hurt.com and get answers. Select your area on our website and find a lawyer near you.

Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/uoe-stf090220.php

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