Low Antibiotic Concentration in Air can Increase Microbes Activity in Lab

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Researchers found that even small concentration of antibiotic in environment is enough for the cultured bacteria to inculcate genetically antimicrobial resistance in them.

Microbes are increasingly becoming resistant to antibiotics by adapting to various defense mechanism. Antimicrobial resistance is prevalent in nature, some of the organism such as biofilms and protozoa, are resistant to antibiotics on its own. This phenomenon of persistent bacterial resistance for antibiotics has been alarming in the cause of human healthcare.

Researchers discovered strains of pathogenic bacteria resistant to all known antibiotics. The trend of antimicrobial resistance could be spread across species (intra-species) or even sometimes crossing to other species (inter-species). The trait could pass genetically to other species from a bacteria which have adapted to survive in an environment containing antibiotics.

Extensive study has been conducted in the area of antimicrobial resistance, which supports the view that even minute concentration of antibiotics in the environment will aid in rising the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in bacterial populations that are cultured in laboratory conditions. Researchers believe that the reason behind the dominance of bacterial behavior is mainly due to incidents when antibiotics (used to treat both human and animal infections) are thrown in sewage or elsewhere in the environment.

“We found that antimicrobial resistance can also become more prevalent due to the presence of protozoa that prey on bacteria or in conditions where the bacteria had settled on a surface as a biofilm, or a compact community,” said Johannes Cairns, PhD at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, Finland. Comparing to single species, microbial communities demonstrated similar behavior in low antibiotic concentration.

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