Climate change increases spread of anti-microbial resistant bacteria in Europe: Study

A research conducted in 30 European countries finds that climatic factors significantly contribute to the prediction of the resistance in healthcare systems

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 16 April 2019
Antibiotic resistance
Image: Getty Images Image: Getty Images

If temperatures increase, so will the spread of anti-microbial resistant (AMR) bacteria in Europe, finds a study conducted after it was found that in the United States the resistance was increasing with rising local temperatures.

The 30-country research, which establishes a relation between climate change and AMR, was conducted at Germany’s Institute of Infection Control and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Gottingen in collaboration with Hannover Medical School.

This study was presented at the 29th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Netherlands held during April13-16, 2019.

In Europe, AMR is a threat, with its prevalence mainly peaking around the Mediterranean Basin.  

“Our study identified a novel association between AMR and climatic factors in Europe. These results reveal two aspects: climatic factors significantly contribute to the prediction of AMR in different types of healthcare systems and societies, while climate change might increase AMR transmission, in particular carbapenem resistance,” said Simone Scheithauer, lead author of the study.

The researchers used data published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to determine the six-year prevalent carbapenem resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, multi-resistant Escherichia coli, and Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

“While these results remain hypothetical as it is unknown if any causal association exists, future analysis of AMR and climatic developments is necessary to determine whether potential climate change effects on AMR become stronger," she added.

Similarly, a recent study by Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China and School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland, found antibiotic resistant genes in abundance in solid wet land. The sample for the study was taken from 32 wetlands across the Qinghai-Tibetan Platea.

AMR is a global issue. A recent study had showed that it the bacteria had started spreading in parts of the world were the existence of humans is very less, like the Arctic.

In India, more than 70 per cent of acinetobacterbaumannii bacteria and 50 per cent of pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria are resistant to broad-spectrum antibiotics like third generation cephalosporin. This is the same bacteria that causes urinary and respiratory infections. If these are getting resistant to currently available antibiotics, we may soon run out of treatments. The main cause for such resistance is over-use of antibiotics and these being fed to animals as growth promoters.

A study conducted by Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy states that by 2030 the consumption of antibiotics as a growth promoter in India will increase up to 85 per cent, if necessary steps are not taken.

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