Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Indian public water supply

Date:
April 7, 2011
Source:
Cardiff University
Summary:
Disease-causing bacteria carrying the new genetic resistance to antibiotics, NDM-1, have been discovered in New Delhi's drinking water supply.

Disease-causing bacteria carrying the new genetic resistance to antibiotics, NDM-1, have been discovered in New Delhi's drinking water supply.

Related Articles


A Cardiff University-led team found new strains of resistant bacteria in the Indian capital, including species which cause cholera and dysentery. The findings are the first evidence of the environmental spread of NDM-1, which had previously only been found in hospitals.

The scientists are calling for urgent action by health authorities worldwide to tackle the new strains and prevent their global spread. The Cardiff scientists also highlight the all-round benefits of preventative measures such as better sanitation and appropriate drinking water.

Cardiff scientists were the first to identify the NDM-1 gene which makes bacteria resistant to a large range of antibiotics. Moreover, the NDM-1 gene is carried on mobile DNA called plasmids which can carry up to 13 other antibiotic resistance genes. While most patients with the bacteria have recently been hospitalised in India, some cases have occurred there without recent hospital treatment, prompting the team to test the wider environment.

Samples were taken in New Delhi from public water taps and from waste seepage, such as water pools in the street. Resistant bacteria were found in 4 per cent of the water supplies and 30 per cent of the seepage sites. The researchers identified 11 new species of bacteria carrying the NDM-1 gene, including strains which cause cholera and dysentry. Antibiotics are used to reduce excretion of bacteria in cholera patients, and to reduce the duration and severity of dysentery. Worryingly, the identified Shigella isolate, which can carry dysentery, is resistant to all appropriate antibiotics.

Study leader Professor Tim Walsh, of Cardiff University's School of Medicine, said: "These are extremely worrying results. We found resistant bacteria in public water used for drinking, washing and food preparation and also in pools and rivulets in heavily-populated areas where children play. The spread of resistance to cholera and to a potentially-untreatable strain of dysentery is also a cause for extreme concern."

A recent UN report showed that 650 million Indian citizens do not have access to a flush toilet and even more probably have no clean water. The New Delhi sewage system itself is reported to be unable to cater for the city's population. The research team also believes that temperatures and monsoon flooding make New Delhi ideal for the spread of NDM-1.

Professor Walsh said: "This is an urgent matter of public health. We need similar environmental studies in cities throughout India, Pakistan and Bangaldesh to establish how widespread resistant bacteria are. If we are to maintain our ability to treat severe infection in vulnerable patients, this action is vital."

"The environmental spread of bacteria is also an international issue. We have discovered patients in the UK and Europe carrying NDM-1 who did not visit hospitals while in India. Our research team at Cardiff would be happy to advise the World Health Organisation and the Asian health authorities on the action that needs to be taken."

The team's findings were published April 6 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Timothy R Walsh, Janis Weeks, David M Livermore and Mark A Toleman. Dissemination of NDM-1 positive bacteria in the New Delhi environment and its implications for human health: an environmental point prevalence study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 7 April 2011 DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(11)70059-7

Cite This Page:

Cardiff University. "Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Indian public water supply." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406214332.htm>.
Cardiff University. (2011, April 7). Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Indian public water supply. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406214332.htm
Cardiff University. "Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Indian public water supply." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406214332.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