Antibiotic Resistance Risks: Indoor Dust Can Make You Antibiotic Resistant, Say Researchers
Antibiotic resistance: Dust particles may have the capability of making you antibiotic resistant. While it is rare that pathogens live in indoor dust, they can enter indoors and mingle with existing bacteria. Read here to know more.
Antibiotic resistance can make medical treatment more expensive for you
- Do not use antibiotics unless it has been prescribed by a doctor
- Dosage and frequency must be in accordance to your prescription
- Avoid coming in close contact with people who are sick
Antibiotics resistance is caused by misuse of antibiotics. According to the World Health Organization, it is one of the biggest threats to food security, development and global health. Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. When bacteria change in response to use of medicines, it results in antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance genes in dust microbes have mobile capabilities, mention NU researchers, as reported by Xinhua news agency. "We observed living bacteria have transferable antibiotic resistance genes," said Erica Hartmann, an assistant professor of environmental engineering in NU's McCormick School of Engineering.
Simply put, this means that dust particles may have the capability of making you antibiotic resistant. While it is rare that pathogens live in indoor dust, they can enter indoors and mingle with existing bacteria. For instance, a non-pathogen can make use of horizontal gene transfer for giving antibiotic resistance gene to a pathogen. The pathogen then becomes antibiotic resistant.
Hartmann further added that microbes share genes when the get stresses out. Since they are not equipped to handle the stress, they share genetic elements with a microbe which might be better equipped.
The study was published in journal PLOS pathogens.
According to Hartmann, it is better to do dusting with a damp cloth instead of using anti-microbial solutions as they can make bacteria more resistant to antibiotics.
Risks associated with antibiotic resistance
There have been increases cases of antibiotic resistance all across the world. It makes difficult to treat infections like gonorrhoea, pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning and other food-borne diseases. Antibiotic resistance increases your risk of the following:
1. When first-line antibiotics fail to work on you, more expensive medicines are required for treatment.
2. Antibiotic resistance can increase duration of illness and treatment.
3. Surgeries, chemotherapies and organ transplantations become more dangerous without the use antibiotics. Antibiotics are required for these treatments as they help in prevention and treatment in case of infections.
Other tips to prevent antibiotic resistance
Apart from keeping your indoors clean and dust-free, there are other ways to prevent antibiotic resistance. You need to avoid misuse and overuse of antibiotics as well as work towards prevention and control of infections. The WHO recommends the following steps for preventing antibiotic resistance:
1. Do not use antibiotics unless it has been prescribed by a doctor.
2. When using antibiotics, make sure you follow commands of the doctor. Dosage and frequency must be in accordance to what you have been prescribed by the doctor.
3. Wash your hands regularly and prepare your food in a clean manner. Wash vegetables, lentils and rice thoroughly before cooking them.
4. Practice proper food storage practices. Get access to foods that have not been adulterated.
5. Avoid coming in close contact with people who are sick.
6. Cover your hands and mouth when coughing and sneezing. Use fresh tissue paper to wipe every time.
8. Be up to the mark with your vaccinations.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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