Nu­clear trail

En­vi­ron­men­tal con­tam­i­na­tion could in­crease an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance

Down to Earth - - SCIENCE -

EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL CON­TAM­I­NANTS may be to blame for the rise in an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance in bac­te­ria. Re­searchers tested wa­ter sam­ples in streams lo­cated in the US Depart­ment of En­ergy's Sa­van­nah River Site. The 802.8 square kilo­me­tre site near Aiken, south Carolina, east of the Sa­van­nah River, was closed to the pub­lic in the early 1950s to pro­duce ma­te­rial used in nu­clear weapons. This pro­duc­tion led to a legacy of waste or con­tam­i­na­tion and im­pacted some of the streams in the in­dus­trial ar­eas. The re­sults re­vealed high lev­els of an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance in eight of the 11 wa­ter sam­ples. More than 95 per cent of the bac­te­ria sam­ples from th­ese streams were re­sis­tant to 10 or more of the 23 an­tibi­otics. En­vi­ron­men­tal Mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy, Novem­ber 3

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