Scientists suggest that monitoring genes responsible for antimicrobial resistance will help track the problem
Scientists from University of Technology, Sydney and La Trobe University in Australia suggest that monitoring the “resistance gene” rather than resistant bacteria will help monitoring antimicrobial resistance more precisely. Resistant genes confer resistance to antibiotics.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)—the ability of a microbe to resist the effects of medication previously used to treat them—has been recognised as a threat to public health globally. Policymakers and scientists have suggested developing new antimicrobials and diagnostics to treat antibiotic resistant pathogens.
The study published in the journal Open Biology earlier this month, says that resistance can be developed in all kinds of microbes in the presence of antimicrobial medication, then passed on to other bacteria like pathogens, which affect humans directly. AMR genes are widespread not only in pathogens but in the larger microbial community as well, although at lower frequencies.
The authors suggest a programme for monitoring resistance genes in the areas where antimicrobials are commonly used. They argue that environment is a reservoir of resistant genes, yet, is not monitored for antimicrobial resistant bacteria or genes. The authors add that by checking for the frequency of resistance genes, AMR can be tracked and help guide decision-making on the local and global use of antimicrobials.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.