Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




EPIDEMICS
'Superbugs' found breeding in sewage plants
by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) Dec 17, 2013


Scientists from Rice, Nankai and Tianjin universities have found signs of drug-resistant bacteria in treated wastewater plants in northern China. Their study suggested the dangerous bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding in the treatment plants. (Credit: Yi Luo/Nankai University).

Tests at two wastewater treatment plants in northern China revealed antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding and spreading their dangerous cargo. Joint research by scientists from Rice, Nankai and Tianjin universities found "superbugs" carrying New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1), a multidrug-resistant gene first identified in India in 2010, in wastewater disinfected by chlorination.

They found significant levels of NDM-1 in the effluent released to the environment and even higher levels in dewatered sludge applied to soils. The study, led by Rice University environmental engineer Pedro Alvarez, appeared this month in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters. "It's scary," Alvarez said.

"There's no antibiotic that can kill them. We only realized they exist just a little while ago when a Swedish man got infected in India, in New Delhi. Now, people are beginning to realize that more and more tourists trying to go to the upper waters of the Ganges River are getting these infections that cannot be treated. "We often think about sewage treatment plants as a way to protect us, to get rid of all of these disease-causing constituents in wastewater.

But it turns out these microbes are growing. They're eating sewage, so they proliferate. In one wastewater treatment plant, we had four to five of these superbugs coming out for every one that came in." Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been raising alarms for years, particularly in hospital environments where public health officials fear they can be transferred from patient to patient and are very difficult to treat.

Bacteria harboring the encoding gene that makes them resistant have been found on every continent except for Antarctica, the researchers wrote. NDM-1 is able to make such common bacteria as E. coli, salmonella and K. pneumonias resistant to even the strongest available antibiotics. The only way to know one is infected is when symptoms associated with these bacteria fail to respond to antibiotics.

In experiments described in the same paper, Alvarez and his team confirmed the microbes treated by wastewater plants that still carried the resistant gene could transfer it via plasmids to otherwise benign bacteria.

A subsequent study by Alvarez and his colleagues published this month in Environmental Science and Technology defined a method to extract and analyze antibiotic-resistant genes in extracellular and intracellular DNA from water and sediment and applied it to sites in the Haihe River basin in China, which drains an area of intensive antibiotic use. The study showed plasmids persist for weeks in river sediment, where they can invade indigenous bacteria.

"It turns out that they transfer these genetic determinants for antibiotic resistance to indigenous bacteria in the environment, so they are not only proliferating within the wastewater treatment plant, they're also propagating and dispersing antibiotic resistance," Alvarez said.

"This calls for us to take a look at these breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and how we might be able to create better barriers than chlorination," he said.

"I think we need to take a serious look at photo-disinfection processes, like ultraviolet disinfection. It has been shown to be more effective on resistant organisms. We also need a better understanding of how these microbes flow through the environment." Lead author Yi Luo is a professor of environmental sciences and engineering at Nankai University, Tianjin, China.

Co-authors are Jacques Mathieu, a research scientist at Rice; graduate students Fengxia Yang and Qing Wang of Nankai University; and master's student Daqing Mao of Tianjin University. The National Natural Science Foundation of China, the State Environmental Protection commonweal project and the Ministry of Education Program for New Century Excellent Talents supported the research. Read the abstract here

.


Related Links
Rice University
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EPIDEMICS
Plague 'epidemic' kills 39 in Madagascar: government
Antananarivo (AFP) Dec 12, 2013
An outbreak of plague even more vicious than the bubonic strain dubbed the black death has killed 39 people in Madagascar, the government said Thursday. A government doctor said 90 percent of the cases were pneumonic plague, a strain much more vicious than the common bubonic plague that can kill within three days, leaving little time for antibiotics to work. Authorities urged anyone suff ... read more


EPIDEMICS
Philippines launches $8.17 bn Haiyan rebuilding plan

Stunned Kerry says US won't abandon typhoon-hit Philippines

UN supplies seeds for typhoon-hit Philippine farmers

Santa takes gourmet dinner to Japan nuclear evacuees

EPIDEMICS
MU Researchers Develop Advanced Three-Dimensional "Force Microscope"

'Approximate' computers could do tasks not requiring exact answers

Inertial Sensor Head shaken but not disturbed

Programming smart molecules

EPIDEMICS
Saving the Great Plains water supply

Climate change puts 40 percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity

Deep-sea corals record dramatic long-term shift in Pacific Ocean ecosystem

Researchers split water into hydrogen, oxygen using light, nanoparticles

EPIDEMICS
Arctic sea ice volume up from record low

Arctic storms that churn seas and melt ice more common than thought

East Antarctica is sliding sideways

NASA Finds Reducing Salt Is Bad For Glacial Health

EPIDEMICS
Cat domestication traced to Chinese farmers 5,300 years ago

Diet and digestion in cows, chickens and pigs drives climate change 'hoofprint'

Two insecticides a risk for human nervous system: EU

Scientists help adapt Brazil farming to climate change

EPIDEMICS
Italy volcano eruption dies down, airport re-opens

Post-Sandy, Long Island barrier systems appear surprisingly sound

Sicily airport stays shut due to volcano eruption

Runaway process drives intermediate-depth earthquakes

EPIDEMICS
Germany, Britain help with logistics in C. Africa: French minister

South Sudan manhunt on for ex-vice president after 'attempted coup'

Six dead in Brazzaville army shootout

France warns of rising sectarian unrest in C. Africa

EPIDEMICS
Chimpanzees are rational, not conformists

Evolution of 'third party punishment'

Simple mathematical formula describes human struggles

Discovery of 1.4 million-year-old fossil human hand bone closes human evolution gap




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement