The phantom menace: antibiotics in our rivers
We present the results of a new study conducted by researchers from the University of York.
May 28, 2019 at 12:45
Experts have studied the level of concentration of common antibiotics in world rivers, after analyzing water samples from 711 points in 72 countries. Presumably, this is the largest ever study of its kind.
Antibiotics were detected in 65% of the studied places, and 111 in the experimental samples their concentrations exceeded the safe level. The situation in Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana, Pakistan and Nigeria; in North America the excess was recorded in 15% of samples in Europe is 8%. In particular, the London Thames was found five antibiotics.
The most common antibiotic in the world’s rivers has become trimethoprim used to treat diseases of the urinary system and included in the list of essential drugs of the world health organization. It was found in half of the studied rivers.
The most contaminated sample was found in Bangladesh in water samples from one of the local rivers, found concentrations of metronidazole, more than 300 times in excess of safe values. In Russia, for example, this antimicrobial agent is included in the approved by the government of the Russian Federation the list of vital and essential medicines.
Severe pollution of rivers with antibiotics can play a significant role in the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. “The solution to this problem will be challenging and will require infrastructure investments for waste and wastewater treatment, more stringent regulation and cleanup already polluted places,” said Alistair Boxall (Alistair Boxall) from Institute of York Environmental Sustainability Institute.
Work on the new study should be presented at the upcoming Congress of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) in Helsinki. Quick release York University – here (English language).