Antibiotic Residues in Water Harmful to Health: Research |  Science-Environment

Antibiotic Residues in Water Harmful to Health: Research | Science-Environment

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a global threat that can lead to untreatable bacterial infections in both animals and humans that can develop from antibiotic residues in water. According to research published in ‘The Lancet Planetary Health’, antibiotic residues in sewage treatment plants and sewage treatment plants in regions around China and India are contributing to antibiotic resistance and drinking water may pose a threat to human health. The researchers also calculated the relative contribution of different sources of antibiotic contamination in waterways, including hospitals, municipalities, livestock and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

“Our results can help decision-makers target risk-reduction measures against residues of priority antibiotics in the environment and at high-risk sites to protect human health and the environment,” says Nada Hanna, a researcher at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Global Public Health. in Sweden and first author of the study. “Efficient allocation of these resources is particularly important for resource-poor countries that produce large quantities of antibiotics.” Antibiotics can enter the environment during their production, consumption and disposal. Antibiotic residues in the environment, e.g. in wastewater and drinking water, can contribute to the emergence and spread of resistance.

Researchers examined levels of antibiotic residues likely to contribute to antibiotic resistance from various water sources in the Western Pacific Region (WPR) and South-East Asia Region (SEAR), regions defined by the World Health Organization. These regions include China and India, which are among the world’s largest producers and consumers of antibiotics. This was done through a systematic review of literature published between 2006 and 2019, including 218 relevant reports from WPR and 22 from SEAR. The researchers also used a method called Probabilistic Environmental Hazard Assessment to determine where the concentration of antibiotics is high enough to likely contribute to antibiotic resistance.

92 antibiotics were detected in the WPR and 45 in the SEAR. Antibiotic concentrations exceeding levels considered safe for the development of resistance (predicted no-effect concentrations, PNECs) were observed in wastewater, influent and wastewater treatment plant effluent, and in the receiving aquatic environment. The highest risk was observed for wastewater and inflow from wastewater treatment plants. The relative impact of various contributors such as hospitals, municipalities, livestock and pharmaceutical manufacturing was also determined. In the receiving aquatic environment, the highest probability of exceeding the threshold value considered safe for the development of resistance was observed for the antibiotic ciprofloxacin in drinking water in China and WPR.

“Antibiotic residues in sewage treatment plants and wastewater treatment plants can serve as foci for the development of antibiotic resistance in these regions and represent a potential threat to human health through exposure to various water sources, including drinking water,” says Nada Hanna. Limitations that need to be taken into account when interpreting the results are the lack of data on the occurrence of antibiotics in the environment from many countries in the regions and the fact that only studies written in English were included. (NEITHER)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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