Antibiotics Resistance

Study to check antibiotic resistance in Ganga


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Anti-biotic resistance

Mains level : Microbial pollution of water bodies

  • The government has commissioned a study to assess the microbial diversity along the entire length of the Ganga.

About the project

  • The study will undertake tests entire stretches of the 2,500 km Ganga river if it contain microbes that may promote “antibiotic resistance”.
  • The aims of the research project are:
  1. To indicate the type of “contamination” (sewage and industrial) in the river and “threat to human health (antibiotic resistance surge)”,
  2. To identify sources of Escherichia coli, a type of bacteria that lives in the gut of animals and humans.
  • While largely harmless, some species have been linked to intestinal disease as well as aggravating antibiotic resistance.

What is Antibiotic resistance?

  • Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines.
  • Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant.
  • These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.
  • Antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.
  • Antibiotic resistance is a consequence of evolution via natural selection.
  • Other factors contributing towards resistance include incorrect diagnosis, unnecessary prescriptions, improper use of antibiotics by patients, and the use of antibiotics as livestock food additives for growth promotion.

 Read this fantastic article by WHO on antibiotic resistance:

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