Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are prevalent in people, wildlife and the water in northeastern Tanzania, but it's not antibiotic use alone driving resistance. Instead, researchers at Washington State University found transmission of bacteria in the environment is the most important factor.
These conclusions come from a four-year study led by researchers from WSU's Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. The results of the study were just published in Nature Communications .
We were surprised to find these microbes everywhere, but it appears that within impoverished communities, there are many opportunities for bacteria to spread between animals and people via contact with waste or through consumption of contaminated food and water." Douglas Call, a Regents professor and associate director for research at the Allen School
The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, began in March 2012 and involved visiting 425 households from 13 villages throughout northeastern Tanzania.
At each household, data was collected about people's daily activities, after which researchers collected fecal samples from people, domestic livestock, chickens, dogs, and when present, wildlife. Water was also sampled.
The methods used by the team were unique from most studies, allowing collection and testing of more than 61,000 bacterial isolates. Depending on the community sampled, over 65% of bacteria from people were resistant to at least one of the nine antibiotics tested.
The prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria was highest for people, but it was also high for other domestic animals even when those animals were never exposed to antibiotics.
For example, in some communities up to 50% of bacteria from dogs were antibiotic-resistant. Related Stories
Also in Industry News
How to decide whether or not to start treatment for prostate cancer?
Analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 proteome via visual tools
$65m investment increases British Patient Capital’s exposure to life sciences and health technology