Sunday 23 July 2017

Raw sewage 'behind superbug found on beaches'

Stock picture
Stock picture

Chai Brady

An enzyme that makes bacteria resistant to even the strongest antibiotics was found on two beaches in Ireland, according to Galway researchers.

The enzyme is known as New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, as it was first discovered in India in 2009.

It was found where "untreated human sewage" was being spewed into the sea which, it was said, could be the cause of the production of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the area.

Bacteria discovered in water samples was resistant to 13 different antibiotics when tested, the researchers found. The paper was published in 'Eurosurveillance', a medical journal that focuses on epidemiology.

It said there was a "rapid dissemination" in Europe and worldwide of a certain type of superbug known as carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE).

CPE bacteria is resistant to some of the strongest antibiotics available. The researchers added it was "making the delivery of effective healthcare an increasing challenge".

The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the issue.

Irish Independent

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