Antibiotic Resistance Genes

Jan. 30, 2019

A new study has found traces of antibiotic resistance genes in the High Arctic region.It also included the ‘superbug’ or the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 protein (coded by NDM-1 gene), which was first detected in urban India in 2008.

  • Key Facts:

    • Samples were collected from Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard – a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean – in 2013.

    • Researchers found “comparatively localised” levels of blaNDM-1, which poses no health threat.

    • However, the “detection reinforces how rapidly antibiotic resistance (AR) can globalize.

    Importance Of This Study:

    • The findings underscore the value of characterizing remote locations with minimal ‘impact’, providing a baseline for quantifying the spread of AR around the world.

    • We already understand drivers for antibiotic resistance to be human misuse and overuse, poor sanitation and extensive use in agriculture.

    • However, we still do not understand the pathways that cause this resistance to spread around the globe.

    • Less than three years after the first detection of the blaNDM-1 gene, we found them thousands of miles away in an area where there has been minimal human impact.

    • NDM-1 (blaNDM-1) is a clinical ARG that is not found in nature, and has to come from the urbanised world.

    • Hence, this study presents a crucial step forward in understanding how AMR transmits around the globe.

Source : Indian Express