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24 March 2011
The message as to overuse of antibiotics is getting widely out there now. People and GPs are increasingly turning away from antibiotics as first line medicine in an attempt to reduce the growing threat of anti-biotic resistant bacteria. Now however, the problem may be occurring at the source.
In the modern global market, many of the components of modern pharmaceuticals are manufactured in India. Unfortunately, some of the factories making these components release huge quantities of drugs into the environment. Now Swedish researchers have shown that bacteria in polluted rivers may be resistant to a range of antibiotics.
Using a large-scale DNA sequencing technique, the Swedish researchers have been able to show that bacteria living in Indian rivers are full of antibiotic resistant genes.
The real problem is that even if the bacteria themselves are not dangerous to humans or other animals or plants, they may transfer their resistant genes to other bacteria which are dangerous.
Since products from India are distributed around the world, this is not an “Indian” problem. If countries and individuals are to reap the benefits of a global economy then they must also share the responsibilities. This is a small problem that could become huge and everyone should be concerned and be involved.