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Multiresistant and Cordovan bacteria

They detect multidrug-resistant bacteria in the Suquía River and in the Cordoba environment. There are more and more environmental problems.

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Multidrug-resistant bacteria are primarily responsible for nosocomial infections. For researchers, sewage spills and their outflow into the watercourse that crosses the provincial capital facilitate their dispersion in the urban and peri-urban environment. While they are not bacteria that cause massive contagion or large epidemics, they recommend monitoring the situation.  By 2050 ,  deaths  from these near-invincible germs are expected to be the leading cause of death worldwide.

A multidisciplinary study identified a set of multidrug-resistant bacteria in the environment of Cordoba and in the Suquía River. Sometimes these microorganisms, which cause infections of varying degrees, are  carriers of a gene that makes them resistant to the most commonly used antibiotics . Treatments on these multidrug-resistant bacteria are usually more complex and, in extreme cases,  ineffective .

“With sewage, this type of multiresistant bacteria is being poured into the environment. While we should not be afraid of an  epidemic , these sewage spills can cause public health problems,” explains Hector Alex Saka,  researcher in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry of the Faculty of Chemical Sciences of the UNC .

 Causes and consequences  

Self-medication, misuse and  abuse  of antibiotics. The sewage overbursts that carry large amounts of bacteria along with low but active amounts of antibiotics in the excreta. The use of antibiotics as growth promoters of animals in agricultural production. They are some of the factors that accelerate the development of multiresistant bacteria.

“Under normal conditions, it can take decades for a bacterium to develop resistance. But, being assiduously subjected to the action of antibiotics, you can achieve it in less time. Today, we see that, in five or six years, or even less, some bacteria become resistant to antibiotics whose development could take ten or more years of research and large investments,” says Saka.

The World Health Organization warns that currently  700 thousand people die a year due to the action of multidrug-resistant bacteria . By 2050, that figure could rise to 10 million and be the leading cause of death.

 Local Diagnosis 

These almost invincible microbes have become a global concern. Saka and a team of  researchers  from the UNC and the Catholic University of Cordoba with the  Laboratory LACE  started studying. Its object was the situation of multiresistant bacteria in the urban and peri-urban environment of the city of Cordoba. Among them, the Suquía River.


They found resistant enterobacteria, enterococci and Staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria cause multiple hospital infections and in the community can cause  wound infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, among others . “When infection is caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria, it is a problem because there are few therapeutic options,” says Saka.

On the other hand, it forces doctors to resort to non-ideal therapeutic alternatives: as the bacteria resists known therapy, it is necessary to combine different antibiotics with less therapeutic effectiveness.  In short, among the bacteria discharged into the city environment in sewage spills, there are the same resistance genes as those in hospitals .

They observed that, before entering the city, the river carries little fecal germs (coliforms) and did not detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However,  after passing through the urban area of Cordoba, the presence of bacteria of fecal origin increases between 10 thousand and 100 thousand times . In addition, they found the same types of multiresistant germs that they had found in the sewage spills.

The team continues its studies to know the impact of these pathogens on the Mar Chiquita Lagoon, the final destination of the Suquía River. On the other hand, they are extending their work to food and animals both pets and those raised for food production.

SOURCE: La Tinta

Publication Date: 13/12/2019

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