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"Superbug gene" found in one of the most remote places on earth

Credit: Newcastle University

Antibiotic-resistant genes (ARGs), first discovered in urban India, were discovered in one of the last "untouched" areas of the earth from a distance of 8,000 miles, a new study shows.

Soil samples taken in the Kongsfjorden area of ​​Svalbard have now confirmed the spread of blaNDM-1

to the High Arctic – an ARG originally found in Indian clinics that provides multidrug resistance (MDR) in microorganisms.

Worldwide The proliferation of BlaNDM-1 and other MDR genes is a growing problem as they often target end-use antibiotics, including carbapenems.

Led by researchers from Newcastle University, Professor David, the research team is supported by animals and humans Graham, saying that blaNDM-1 and other medically important ARGs have been found in arctic soils that are likely to be found in feces of other birds, other wildlife and human visitors to the region.

"The polar regions are among the last untouched origins ecosystems on Earth, a platform to characterize the background resistance of the pre-antibiotic era, against which we could understand the rate of AR pollution progression," says Professor Graham, an environmental officer, Ironmental Engineer at Newcastle University, who has spent 15 years studying the transmission of antibiotic resistance to the environment.

"However, less than three years after the first discovery of the blaNDM-1 gene in the surface waters of urban India, we find it thousands of miles away in an area where humans had minimal impact.

"Penetration into areas like the Arctic is amplifying how fast and widespread the spread of antibiotic resistance has become, and confirms that solutions to AR need to be seen globally rather than just local terms. "

Concern about the spread of antibiotic-resistant (AR) genes

The increase in antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis. An example is NDM-1, which is a protein that can confer resistance in a variety of bacteria. NDM-1 was first identified in New Delhi and encoded by the resistant gene blaNDM-1.

Strains carrying blaNDM-1 were first found in clinical settings in 2008, but in 2010 BlaNDM-1 was found in surface waters in Delhi. Since then, the resistant gene has been found in over 100 countries, including new variants.

Antibiotics that are resistant to carbapenems – an antibiotic class of last resort – and the worldwide spread of blaNDM-1 are currently only a few antibiotics and related ARGs are a concern.

"What people have done through excessive use of antibiotics on a global scale is to accelerate the evolutionary rate and create a new world of resistant strains that did not exist before," says Graham.

"Excessive use of antibiotics, faecal releases, and contamination of drinking water have consistently accelerated the rate at which superbugs can develop."

"When a new drug develops, for example, natural ones may develop Bacteria adapt quickly and become resistant; As a result, very few new drugs are in the pipeline because it is simply not cost effective to make them.

Resistance to Resistance Benchmark

Published today in the journal Environmental International this latest research was conducted by an international team of experts from Newcastle, York and Kansas Universities and the Chinese Academy The research carried out in Xiamen and funded by the British Natural Environmental Research Council and other authorities.

] A total of 131 ARGs were detected by analyzing the extracted DNA from forty soil cores at eight locations along the Kongsfjord.

"The proven resistance genes were identified nine classes of antibiotics, including aminoglycosides, macrolides and β-lactams, are used to treat many infections. As an example, a gene was found in all nuclei mediating MDR in tuberculosis, whereas blaNDM-1 was detected in more than 60% of the soil cores in the study.

"This finding has a huge impact on the global spread of AR," warns Graham. "A clinically important ARG derived from South Asia is clearly not 'local' in the Arctic."

"The identification of an ARG gradient" by the study landscape, which varies according to the effects of humans and animals, still shows Isolated Polar Sites, where the ARG values ​​are so low that they are the basis for the antimicrobial "The gradient of resistance genes reflects the corresponding indicators of waste in geochemistry, suggesting a new basis for the identification of sites further AMR research," adds lead author Dr. Clare McCann of Newcastle University.

"We can only win this fight if we understand all the paths leading to antibiotic resistance.

Obviously Improved Antibiotic Stewardship In medicine and agriculture, it is important to know how the transfer of resistances through water and soil takes place. We claim that waste management and water quality in agriculture are improving. The global scale is a key step. "

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Further information:
"Understanding Antibiotic Resistance Gene Drivers in High Arctic Soil Ecosystems" Clare McCann, Beate Christgen, Jennifer Roberts, Jian-Qiang Su, Kathryn Arnold, Neil Gray, Yong-Guan Zhu, and David Graham. Environment International

Magazine Reference:
Environment international

Provided by:
Newcastle University

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