About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Antibiotics in Few Rivers Surpass Safe Levels

by Ramya Rachamanti on May 27, 2019 at 5:25 PM
Font : A-A+

Antibiotics in Few Rivers Surpass Safe Levels

Concentrations of antibiotics found to be higher than critical safer levels by almost 300 times, according to the study done on 14 commonly used antibiotics in rivers of 72 countries among six continents.

Metronidazole, which is used to treat bacterial infections including skin and mouth infections, exceeded safe levels by the biggest margin, with concentrations at one site in Bangladesh 300 times greater than the 'safe' level.

Advertisement


In the River Thames and one of its tributaries in London, the researchers detected a maximum total antibiotic concentration of 233 nanograms per litre (ng/l), whereas in Bangladesh the concentration was 170 times higher.

The most prevalent antibiotic was trimethoprim, which was detected at 307 of the 711 sites tested and is primarily used to treat urinary tract infections.
Advertisement

The research team compared the monitoring data with 'safe' levels recently established by the AMR Industry Alliance which, depending on the antibiotic, range from 20-32,000 ng/l.

Ciproflaxacin, which is used to treat a number of bacterial infections, was the compound that most frequently exceeded safe levels, surpassing the safety threshold in 51 places.

The team said that the 'safe' limits were most frequently exceeded in Asia and Africa, but sites in Europe, North America and South America also had levels of concern showing that antibiotic contamination was a "global problem."

Sites where antibiotics exceeded 'safe' levels by the greatest degree were in Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana, Pakistan and Nigeria, while a site in Austria was ranked the highest of the European sites monitored.

The study revealed that high-risk sites were typically adjacent to wastewater treatment systems, waste or sewage dumps and in some areas of political turmoil, including the Israeli and Palestinian border.

The project, which was led by the University of York, was a huge logistical challenge - with 92 sampling kits flown out to partners across the world who were asked to take samples from locations along their local river system.

Samples were then frozen and couriered back to the University of York for testing. Some of the world's most iconic rivers were sampled, including the Chao Phraya, Danube, Mekong, Seine, Thames, Tiber and Tigris.

Dr John Wilkinson, from the Department of Environment and Geography, who co-ordinated the monitoring work said no other study had been done on this scale.

He said: "Until now, the majority of environmental monitoring work for antibiotics has been done in Europe, N. America and China. Often on only a handful of antibiotics. We know very little about the scale of problem globally.

"Our study helps fill this key knowledge gap with data being generated for countries that had never been monitored before."

Professor Alistair Boxall, Theme Leader of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, said: "The results are quite eye opening and worrying, demonstrating the widespread contamination of river systems around the world with antibiotic compounds.

"Many scientists and policy makers now recognise the role of the natural environment in the antimicrobial resistance problem. Our data show that antibiotic contamination of rivers could be an important contributor."

"Solving the problem is going to be a mammoth challenge and will need investment in infrastructure for waste and wastewater treatment, tighter regulation and the cleaning up of already contaminated sites."

The finds are due to be unveiled during two presentations at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) in Helsinki on 27 and 28 May.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
Emotional Healing
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
MRSA - The Super Bug Antibiotics Eye Infections Natural Antibiotics to Fight Bacterial Infections Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) Boils - Treatment by Drugs Multiple Drug Allergy Syndrome Interaction of Antibiotics with Dairy Products Antibiotic Resistance - An Emerging Global Crisis 

Recommended Reading
Antibiotics
Antibiotics are among the most used and abused medications. This article explains some general ......
Antibiotic Resistance - An Emerging Global Crisis
Antibiotic resistance refers to the adaption of bacteria that allows them to grow even in the presen...
Boils - Treatment by Drugs
Diabetes patients have reduced immunity, which makes them more susceptible to skin infections like b...
Eye Infections
Eye infection is a common problem that often causes pain and discomfort to the eyes. Common symptoms...
Interaction of Antibiotics with Dairy Products
Antibiotics like tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones used in the treatment of bacterial infections in...
MRSA - The Super Bug
MRSA infection is the most dreaded hospital or community acquired infection that can become ......
Multiple Drug Allergy Syndrome
Multiple drug allergy syndrome or multiple drug hypersensitivity syndrome is a condition that causes...
Natural Antibiotics to Fight Bacterial Infections
Fighting infections the natural way and preventing them is always more effective than consuming medi...
Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)
Enterococci are a group of gram-negative bacteria that mostly inhabit the human gut. At present ther...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use