USAID research: Agriculture runoffs creating drug-resistant bacteria in freshwater

HYDERABAD: Industrial effluents and agricultural runoffs are begetting antibiotic resistant bacteria in ground and surface water, terminating the efficacy of medicines to fight off diseases, researchers and academicians said.

Rasool Bux Mahar, deputy director of US-funded water centre at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro said the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) in different water sources lessen the efficacy of antibiotic medicines prescribed by doctors to the patients.

“The presence of ARB is found in the groundwater, surface water, and wastewater in Hyderabad and its surroundings due to industrial wastes, agricultural runoff, and wastes of humans and animals,” Mahar said, sharing findings of a research study at a seminar.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) funded the project study on identification of antibiotic resistant bacteria in various sources of waters of Hyderabad city and its surroundings.

Mahar, who’s also the principal investigator of the study, said ARB is a global public issue today. “If the problem of antibiotic resistance shall not properly be tackled then 10 million deaths will occur and Asian countries will mostly be affected,” he added.

Mahar said presence of bacteria was observed in drinking water samples that showed a significant amount of heterotrophic plate count in which the most of the organisms isolated from the samples were pseudomonas, shigella, vibrio, and e-coli.

“Bacterial isolates identified in the study findings have a potential threat to the people living in Hyderabad,” he added.

Source: TheNews

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