Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Roads pave the way for the spread of superbugs

30.09.2011
Antibiotic resistant E. coli was much more prevalent in villages situated along roads than in rural villages located away from roads, which suggests that roads play a major role in the spread or containment of antibiotic resistant bacteria, commonly called superbugs, a new study finds.

Many studies on various infectious diseases have shown that roads impact the spread of disease, however this is the first known study to show that roads also impact the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria, said Joe Eisenberg, co-author and professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Researchers at the U-M SPH and colleagues from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and Trinity College studied a region in northwest Ecuador for five years, focusing on antibiotic resistant E. coli and the common antibiotic paring of ampicillin and sulfamethoxazole.

"Our results show it's not just the individual's antibiotic use that affects antibiotic resistance," Eisenberg said. "Other important factors that affect the spread of antibiotic resistance are the rates at which people introduce new strains due to movement in and out of the region, as well as poor water quality and sanitation that allow for the transmission of antibiotic resistant strains." Both of these factors are influenced by the presence of the roads.

"We focus so much on the individual, and if they do or don't take antibiotics, but we're learning more and more that there's a broader environmental and social context in which antibiotic resistance happens," Eisenberg said.

While increased antibiotic use over long periods of time can increase antibiotic resistance with bacteria such as E. coli, when antibiotics are taken for much shorter periods of time, they have a different effect on bacteria.

For those bacteria, taking antibiotics amplifies antibiotic resistant bacteria that already exists in the individual, by killing the non-resistant E. coli., which encourages the superbug strains to multiply and take over in the gut.

This superbug E. coli becomes the dominant strain, thus increasing the likelihood that it is transmitted from one person to another. A transmission event can occur when, for example, an infected person contaminates food they are preparing or a water source they are bathing in and an uninfected person subsequently is exposed to the contaminated food or water source. Thus, the road influences health not only through providing more access to antibiotics, but also through creating different levels of water sanitation and hygiene.

"If we want to think about how we deal with antibiotic resistance we have got to think about the broader environmental forces that cause the spread of antibiotic resistance, in addition to how doctors prescribe antibiotics to individuals," Eisenberg said.

The paper, "In-roads to the spread of antibiotic resistance: regional patterns of microbial transmission in northern coastal Ecuador," appears this month in the Journal of the Royal Society, Interface.

For more on Eisenberg: http://www.sph.umich.edu/iscr/faculty/profile.cfm?uniqname=jnse

For more on Department of Epidemiology: http://www.sph.umich.edu/epid/

The University of Michigan School of Public Health has been promoting health and preventing disease since 1941, and is ranked among the top public health schools in the nation. Whether making new discoveries in the lab or researching and educating in the field, our faculty, students, and alumni are deployed around the globe to promote and protect our health http://www.sph.umich.edu/

Laura Bailey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>