Friday February 28, 2020

Indoor Dust Bacteria Have Transferrable Antibiotic Resistance Genes, Says Study

The study was published Thursday in the journal PLOS Pathogens

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Antibiotic
Health organisations across the world are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics. Pixabay

A study of Northwestern University (NU) found that bacteria living in household dust can spread antibiotic resistance genes, and the researchers believe these genes could potentially spread to pathogens, making infections more difficult to treat.

Bacteria can share many different types of genes as long as the genes have mobile segments of DNA. NU researchers were the first to find that antibiotic resistance genes in dust microbes have mobile capabilities, the Xinhua news agency reported.

“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.

Although it is rare for pathogens to live in indoor dust, they can hitchhike into homes and mingle with existing bacteria.

track objects
This digitally colorized microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in yellow. Bacteria are part of the collection of microorganisms that tell scientists where an object has been. VOA

“A nonpathogen can use horizontal gene transfer to give antibiotic resistance genes to a pathogen,” Hartmann explained. “Then the pathogen becomes antibiotic resistant.”

“Microbes share genes when they get stressed out,” Hartmann said. “They aren’t equipped to handle the stress, so they share genetic elements with a microbe that might be better equipped.”

Also Read: Air Pollution Associated with More Severe Rhinitis Symptoms: Researchers

Hartmann recommends dusting with a damp cloth instead of using antimicrobial solutions, which can make bacteria more resistant to antibiotics.

The study was published Thursday in the journal PLOS Pathogens. (IANS)

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Distinctive Bacteria in The Gut May Be Associated With High Blood Pressure

Gut microbiota are constantly changing, depending on what we eat, our environment and especially our genetic makeup

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Bacteria
Gut microbiota are constantly changing, depending on what we eat, our environment and especially our genetic makeup. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have identified a distinct collection of bacteria found in the gut that may contribute to and predict the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

PAH is a chronic and progressive disease in which the arteries that supply blood to the lungs are constricted, resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations, fatigue and others.

In PAH, persistently high blood pressure in lung arteries makes the right side of the heart work too hard to pump blood, resulting in right-sided heart failure. According to the study, published in the journal Hypertension, everyone has a collection of bacteria in their gut — known as microbiota — that aid in digestion.

The researchers found that having a specific microbiota profile in their gut predicted the presence of PAH with 83 per cent accuracy.

“We showed for the first time that specific bacteria in the gut are present in people with PAH. While current PAH treatments focus on the lungs, looking at the lung/gut axis could open the door to new therapies centered in the digestive system,” said Indian-origin researcher and study lead author Mohan Raizada from University of Florida in the US.

For the study, stool samples were collected from 18 PAH patients and 12 people without a history of cardiopulmonary disease. The microbiota DNA from the stool samples were isolated and sequenced. The testing revealed a group of bacteria unique in the PAH patients that were associated with PAH.

Blood Pressure
In PAH, persistently high blood pressure in lung arteries makes the right side of the heart work too hard to pump blood, resulting in right-sided heart failure. Pixabay

According to the study, this is the first link between a specific collection of bacteria and pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, it is not the first time that gut bacteria have been connected to medical conditions. A variety of different gut microbiota profiles have been linked to a variety of cardiovascular diseases including high blood pressure, the study added.

ALSO READ: Vivo To Unveil Concept Smartphone “APEX 20” on February 28 in Beijing

Gut microbiota are constantly changing, depending on what we eat, our environment and especially our genetic makeup. “However, the bacteria associated with PAH are unique and do not seem to change. We believe these particular bacteria are constant,” Raizada said. (IANS)