Allahabad: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in Ganga | Allahabad News


PRAYAGRAJ: A team of scientists from Allahabad University’s Centre of Environmental Sciences has found bacteria in the Ganga river which could be resistant to antibiotics, raising a health concern.
During the research, samples were taken from such places where drains or sewage meet in the Ganga. The samples showed the presence of bacteria which were resistant to antibiotics.
“If these bacteria enter a person’s body through the river water, then antibiotics will have no effect on the individual. It can be quite dangerous,” said Kumar Suranjit Prasad, who led the study.
This research has been carried in the recent issue of the international journal, ‘Gene Reports‘ published by Elsevier, The Netherlands.
The team collected samples near the drain falling ahead of Rasulabad Ghat of Prayagraj. Along with the samples of effluents falling from the drain or sewage into the river, samples of water were also collected from the nearby areas of the river.
Similar bacteria were found in both the samples collected and were found to have resistance to antibiotics. “If these bacteria enter a person’s body through water from the river then the antibiotic will have no effect on them and it can be quite dangerous,” suggested Prasad. He further said that due to the antibiotics found in humans and cattle reaching the rivers through sewage, disease-causing bacteria have developed immunity against antibiotics.
Genes that break down antibiotics have been found in the DNA of bacteria that were found in the samples collected from the river. “This sign is alarming, as there are about 1.2 million deaths in the world every year from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections,” said Prasad. He also claimed that dispensing antibiotics that have expired can be one of the reasons for the presence of this bacteria in river water. Medicines used to treat cattle also end up in sewage, due to which resistance of bacteria develops to fight antibiotic.
He explained, “There are two types of bacteria. First one is nonpathogenic and second pathogenic. Non-pathogenic bacteria do not cause disease, whereas pathogenic bacteria cause disease. Many bacteria are defeated by human body’s immune system and antibiotics are not needed. There are others which are stronger and cause diseases.” He added, “After pathogenic bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics, if a person comes in contact with such bacteria, then he/ she becomes ill very soon, and antibiotic does not work on him.”

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