Researchers from the University of the West of Scotland and University of Strathclyde in Scotland are planning to study if pollution can create an enabling environment for antibiotic resistance. They plan to quantify the role discarded heavy metals and waste play in harbouring dangerous infections such as MRSA and C-Difficile.
Fiona Henriquez, leader of the research group pointed out that antibiotic resistant bacteria don’t just develop as a result of prescribing antibiotics and that there are a whole host of environmental factors that contribute. The team hypothesizes that since pollutants create a harsher environment in which to thrive, bacteria have to evolve themselves to survive in the process of building resistance to pollutants they may build resistance to antibiotics as well.
The study focuses on looking at wider environmental factors that could enhance the effect of antibiotic resistance. Such a holistic view will help in enabling better mechanisms to tackle this global public health threat.