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Researchers Found Superbug Gene in Rare Regions of Earth

Researchers Found Superbug Gene in Rare Regions of Earth

A new study demonstrated evidence for antibiotic-resistant genes (ARGs) in one of the last 'pristine' places on earth.

Antibiotic-Resistant Genes (ARGs) were first detected in urban India, as per the researchers from the Newcastle University. ARGs are known to provide multidrug resistance (MDR) in microorganisms. Researchers are concerned on the worldwide spread of New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1) and multidrug resistance genes as these often target last resort classes of antibiotics, including Carbapenems.

David Graham, an environmental engineer at Newcastle University and lead researcher of the study, said: “Polar regions are among the last presumed pristine ecosystems on Earth, providing a platform for characterizing pre-antibiotic era background resistance against which we could understand rates of progression of AR pollution. But less than three years after the first detection of the blaNDM-1 gene in the surface waters of urban India we are finding them thousands of miles away in an area where there has been minimal human impact.”

Instances of increasing antibiotic resistance could be a global concern in the near future. NDM-1, which is a protein that can confer resistance in a range of bacteria. NDM-1 was first identified in New Delhi and coded by the resistant gene blaNDM-1. The strains that carry blaNDM-1 were identified after two years of its findings in surface water in Delhi.

The work was published in the academic journal Environmental International on January 29, 2019, which was carried out by an international team of experts from the Universities of Newcastle, York and Kansas and the Chinese Academy of Science in Xiamen, and was funded by the UK Natural Environmental Research Council and other agencies.


Sagar Jagtap
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