Antibiotic-resistant bacteria present in Ganga: Study

Published on Oct 29, 2022 10:07 PM IST

Scientists from Allahabad University’s Centre of Environmental Sciences have found the presence of a large number of bacteria that are resistant to commonly-used antibiotics, in the Ganga

Discharge of drain water into the Ganga in Prayagraj. (HT PHOTO)
Discharge of drain water into the Ganga in Prayagraj. (HT PHOTO)
By, Prayagraj

Scientists from Allahabad University’s Centre of Environmental Sciences have found the presence of a large number of bacteria that are resistant to commonly-used antibiotics, in the Ganga.

For the research, samples were taken from where drains or sewage lines meet the Ganga.

Residues of antibiotics reach water bodies through waste discharged from households, drug manufacturing units, hospitals and poultry industry. The antibiotics in water lead to evolution of bacteria that are resistant to the medicine. The situation can pose a danger to human health as infection with such antibiotic-resistant bacteria can become untreatable, the scientists added.

“If these bacteria enter a person’s body through the water of Ganga, then antibiotics will have no effect on the individual,” informed Kumar Suranjit Prasad, assistant professor at the AU centre, who led the study.

Findings of the study have been published in international journal Gene Reports published by Elsevier, Netherlands.

The team collected samples from near Rasulabad Ghat of Prayagraj. Along with samples of effluents from the drain, samples of water were also collected from the nearby areas of the river. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found in both the samples, he added.

Genes that breakdown antibiotics have been found in the DNA of bacteria found in the samples collected from the river, he added. “This sign is alarming as there are about 1.2 million deaths in the world every year from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections,” added Prasad.

He also claimed that dispensing antibiotics carelessly can be a possible reason for the presence of such bacteria in the river water.

Medicines used to treat cattle also end up in sewage, due to which the bacteria develop resistance to fight antibiotics, he said.

Stating that there are types of bacteria—pathogenic and non-pathogenic—he said it is the former that causes disease. Many bacteria are defeated by the body’s immune system and antibiotics are not needed. However, there are others which are stronger and cause diseases.

The results of this study, he said, will be useful for regulatory agencies that can enforce rules to stop further release of such effluents into rivers.

Discharge of drain water into the Ganga in Prayagraj (HT)

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, February 02, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals