Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Polar bear droppings advance superbug debate

Date:
January 15, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Scientists investigating the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs have gone the extra mile for their research -- all the way to the Arctic. Researchers found little sign of the microbes in the droppings of polar bears that have had limited or no contact with humans, suggesting that the spread of antibiotic resistance genes seen in other animals may be the result of human influence.

Researchers found little sign of superbugs in the droppings of polar bears that have had limited or no contact with humans, suggesting that the spread of antibiotic resistance genes seen in other animals may be the result of human influence.
Credit: iStockphoto/David Yang

Scientists investigating the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs have gone the extra mile for their research -- all the way to the Arctic. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Microbiology found little sign of the microbes in the droppings of polar bears that have had limited or no contact with humans, suggesting that the spread of antibiotic resistance genes seen in other animals may be the result of human influence.

Related Articles


Trine Glad, from the University of Tromsψ, Norway, led a study that examined feces samples from five polar bears and rectal swabs from another five polar bears between 2004 and 2006. She said, "The presence of antibiotic resistance genes has previously been described in bacteria taken from the feces of deer, foxes, pigs, dogs and cats. The Barents Sea population of polar bears is located in an area that is sparsely populated by humans. This enables us to study an ecosystem with little human impact and should allow us to determine whether these genes are naturally occurring or are caused by exposure to human antibiotics."

The researchers found that there was scant evidence of antibiotic resistance genes in the bacteria taken from these isolated bears. Overall, the bacterial diversity in the bears' feces was low. Speaking about these results, Glad said "Our analysis of polar bear feces showed a homogenous microbial flora dominated by Clostridia, most of them well characterized as they are also dominant in the human gut. These findings fit nicely with previous studies of the gut microbial ecology in mammals, indicating that bacterial diversity is lower in carnivores, such as polar bears that feed mostly on seals, than herbivores."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Trine Glad, Pal Bernhardsen, Kaare M Nielsen, Lorenzo Brusetti, Magnus Andersen, Jon Aars and Monica A Sundset. Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in Arctic Svalbard. BMC Microbiology, (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Polar bear droppings advance superbug debate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113192011.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2010, January 15). Polar bear droppings advance superbug debate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113192011.htm
BioMed Central. "Polar bear droppings advance superbug debate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113192011.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins