“Fish sold in Mumbai markets may make you resistant to antibiotics”

” While India is the second-largest fish producing country in the world, a new study revealed that consuming this protein-rich food could be making you resistant to antibiotics. A first-of-its-kind study by the Department of Biotechnology at the University of Mumbai and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, found high levels of drug-resistant pathogens in five popular varieties of fish from local markets in the city.

“Antibiotics are being widely used as growth promoters, and to prevent and treat infection in fish farmed in aquaculture ponds, poultry farms, piggery farms, cattle-rearing farms and small ruminates [sheep and goats],” said Onkar Naik, PhD fellow, Department of Biotechnology. “Most of the antibiotics get flushed out and this accumulated waste flows into various water bodies before reaching the sea, while also contaminating the soil around,” Naik added.

Besides, antibiotic residues from pharmaceutical and industrial effluents are discharged into the sea via sewage and waste water treatment facilities.

Researchers said traces of these antibiotics may accumulate in fish owing to extensive usage and subsequent contamination of water bodies with these antimicrobial drugs.

When humans consume fish, antibiotic resistant microorganisms enter the human gut and probably transfer their resistant genes to the gut microflora. This spread of antibiotic resistant (AR) genes might lead to development of antibiotic resistance in human intestinal microorganisms.”

Source: Hindustan Times


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