Polluted city air has now been identified as a possible means of transmission for resistant bacteria. Researchers in Gothenburg have shown that air samples from Beijing contain DNA from genes that make bacteria resistant to the most powerful antibiotics we have.
“This may be a more important means of transmission than previously thought,” says Joakim Larsson, a professor at Sahlgrenska Academy and director of the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at the University of Gothenburg.
Joakim Larsson and his colleagues have previously received attention for their research on waterborne release of antibiotics from pharmaceutical production in India, which was shown to trigger the development of resistant bacteria.
Over 800 samples
In this new study, the researchers looked for genes that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics in a total of 864 samples of DNA collected from humans, animals, and different environments worldwide.
“We studied only a small number of air samples, so to generalize, we need to examine the air from more places. But the air samples we did analyze showed a wide mix of different resistance genes. Of particular concern is that we found a series of genes that provide resistance to carbapenems, a group of last resort antibiotics taken for infections caused by bacteria that are often very difficult to treat,” says Larsson.
The results do not show whether the sampled bacteria were actually alive in the air, which would make them a real threat.
“It is reasonable to believe that there is a mixture of live and dead bacteria, based on experience from other studies of air,” says Larsson.
European treatment plants
The next step for the research is to find out if resistance spreads through air from European sewage treatment plants. This research will be carried out within the framework of a larger collaborative international project that has just been selected for funding by the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPI-AMR), where the Swedish Research Council is providing the Gothenburg group’s financing.
“We’re going to let treatment plant employees carry air samplers. We will also study their bacterial flora and flora of people who live very close and farther away, and see if there seems to be a connection to the treatment plants,” says Larsson.
Learn more: Worrying traces of resistant bacteria in air
The Latest on: Airborne bacteria transmission
via Google News
The Latest on: Airborne bacteria transmission
- Active Tuberculosis Case Confirmed in Mississippi on February 12, 2019 at 7:52 am
Tuberculosis is a respiratory infection and it typically spreads when a person inhales airborne bacteria over an extended period ... their children from school and that there's no risk of transmission ... […]
- Assessing the airborne survival of bacteria in aerosol droplets from coughs and sneezes on January 22, 2019 at 5:13 pm
The airborne transmission of diseases including the common cold, influenza and tuberculosis is something that affects everyone with an average sneeze or cough sending around 100,000 contagious germs i... […]
- Assessing the airborne survival of bacteria in aerosol droplets from coughs and sneezes on January 22, 2019 at 4:02 pm
Aerosol droplets are a typical route for the transport of pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, and the airborne transmission of disease. The impact of environmental factors (such as relative humid... […]
- Picking your nose is both gross and potentially deadly on October 11, 2018 at 11:09 am
“Our current understanding of the transmission of pneumococcus is poor ... rather than just through breathing in airborne bacteria.&rdquo […]
- Pneumonia-causing bacteria can be spread by nose picking and rubbing on October 11, 2018 at 12:34 am
is known to be spread through inhalation of airborne droplets containing the bacteria, for example in coughs and sneezes. This study is the first to show that transmission can also occur via contact b... […]
- Blowin’ in the wind: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria from cattle are now airborne on March 30, 2015 at 12:35 pm
bacteria, and antibiotic-resistant DNA, a new study finds. Environmental tests on the spread of antibiotics have been performed in the past, but this is the first time researchers have examined aerial ... […]
- No, A New Scientific Report Does Not Say That Ebola Is Now Airborne on February 20, 2015 at 4:00 pm
The mBio paper itself explains that, airborne transmission of any virus or bacteria "occurs by dissemination of either airborne droplet nuclei or small particles in the respirable size range containin... […]
- Study: Humans emit about 37 million bacteria per hour on April 5, 2012 at 7:19 am
The average human emission, the study states, is about 37 million bacteria per person per hour ... “Historically, people have worried about bacteria in buildings because of airborne disease transmissi... […]
- New 'Always On' Air Sanitizer Fills Critical Gap in Infection Control on July 12, 2010 at 2:30 am
NEW ORLEANS, LA--(Marketwire ... airborne bacteria to establish the foundation of a successful infection-control protocol. It is the one part of the program that will always be 100% compliant." Dr. Ke... […]
via Bing News