Hudson River filled with Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Widespread in Hudson River, Study Finds – The Earth Institute – Columbia University.

Highlights of the article:

“This is not the first time that antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been found in a river.”

“However, this is the first study to firmly link specific microbes to sewage in the Hudson, and to compare results at different locations.”

“Rivers can incubate bacteria, allowing them to transfer their drug-resistant genes to normal bacteria.  “If these resistant genes are transferred, they can develop into disease-causing bacteria,”…”

“Bacteria can also play an important role in the environment.  As more antibiotic-resistant microbes replace native bacteria, those changes could eventually have an impact on plants and animals.  “Microbial communities can affect the health of the entire ecosystem,” said Young, who is now studying how Mississippi water snakes respond to infection with antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

Antibiotic resistance has become a public health crisis.   About 100,000 people die each year from hospital-acquired infections, most of which are due to antibiotic-resistant pathogens.”

Superbugs resistant to methicillin kill about 19,000 people each year, more than HIV/AIDS.  The development of resistance has been linked to overuse of antibiotics to treat minor infections in humans, and to industrial feedlots, where low levels of antibiotics are fed to chicken, cattle and pigs to promote growth and prevent infection.”

“80 percent of antibiotics in the U.S. are fed to livestock.”

“‘How much sewage overflow reduction is needed and when?'”

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