Insights from Auckland sewers could help fight superbugs
Scientists are turning to Auckland’s sewer network to get a better handle on antibiotic resistance – a fascinating approach that’s also been used to flush out drug use and now coronavirus.
Discovering more about superbugs’ ability to defy our drugs is critical: an estimated 700,000-plus people worldwide die each year due to drug-resistant infections and that figure could climb to 10 million by mid-century.
The new study’s leader, well-known University of Auckland microbiologist Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles, said New Zealand currently monitors antibiotic-resistant bacteria by analysing samples collected from hospital and community laboratories.
Although this was a tried and true system, its main drawback is that it failed to capture information about resistant bacteria carried by healthy people with no symptoms.
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