- Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines.
- Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant.
- These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.
- Antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.
- Antibiotic resistance is a consequence of evolution via natural selection.
- Other factors contributing towards resistance include incorrect diagnosis, unnecessary prescriptions, improper use of antibiotics by patients, and the use of antibiotics as livestock food additives for growth promotion.
- The government has commissioned a study to assess the microbial diversity along the entire length of the Ganga.
- The study will undertake tests entire stretches of the 2,500 km Ganga river if it contain microbes that may promote “antibiotic resistance”.
The aims of the research project are:
- To indicate the type of “contamination” (sewage and industrial) in the river and “threat to human health (antibiotic resistance surge)”,
- To identify sources of Escherichia coli, a type of bacteria that lives in the gut of animals and humans.
- While largely harmless, some species have been linked to intestinal disease as well as aggravating antibiotic resistance.