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Indo-UK team conducts research on presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Musi river

Indo-UK team conducts research on presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Musi river
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Indo-UK team conducts research on presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Musi river

Highlights

Researchers say an estimated 58,000 babies die in India every year from superbug infections passed on from their mothers

Ranga Reddy: A new research on release of antibiotics into India's rivers by industries and its impact on the spread of potentially fatal drug- resistant infections to be conducted by IIT-H and University of Birmingham.

The project is jointly funded by India-UK government with aim to research on deepening existing scientific research collaboration with five new programmes to tackle anti-microbial resistance, supported by the UK's Natural Environment Research Council and India's Department of Bio-Technology. Researchers said, an estimated 58,000 babies die in India every year from superbug infections passed on from their mothers.

Experts from the team will sample the research on the two contrasting river networks, The Musi River which has high concentrations of antibiotics released from industries and less polluted Adyar river in Tamil Nadu, team aims to learn how far resistant bacteria travel before they die or are eaten by other organisms in a unique combination of experiments.

Indian project lead Shashidhar Thatikonda of IIT Hyderabad said, We found from previous research that the River Musi is now a factory of superbugs. Modelling water flows will be crucial in predicting the fate of resistant bacteria in the environment and we aim to create models that will be applicable in other rivers and countries.

He also said that the recommendations we will produce will help bring down the levels of resistance in the environment. This will contribute to reduce the abundance of resistant pathogens that make infections untreatable.

Jan Kreft from the University of Birmingham said, We do not know how quickly antibiotics are degraded in the environment and how much they are diluted by rainfall and by entering larger rivers, we will learn how antibiotics from manufacturing and the resistant bacteria they select will flow through river networks and how far they can be transported in rivers.

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