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China Medicine Science

Multidrug Resistance Gene Released By Chinese Wastewater Treatment Plants 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the giving-them-a-sporting-chance dept.
MTorrice writes "In recent years, increasing numbers of patients worldwide have contracted severe bacterial infections that are untreatable by most available antibiotics. Some of the gravest of these infections are caused by bacteria carrying genes that confer resistance to a broad class of antibiotics called beta-lactams, many of which are treatments of last resort. Now a research team reports that some wastewater treatment plants in China discharge one of these potent resistance genes into the environment. Environmental and public health experts worry that this discharge could promote the spread of resistance."
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Multidrug Resistance Gene Released By Chinese Wastewater Treatment Plants

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  • Re:some/could/etc. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @11:28PM (#45722291)

    I'd say it is a pretty good chance, actually.

    Your basic argument is that because it is a "possible" outcome, and not "divine omniprescient 100% certainty that it will in fact happen", that it can be safely ignored.

    Let's examine how that is utterly retarded as a proposition, shall we?

    I can strike a match inside a room filled with natural gas. It may or may not explode, depending on how much oxygen is also present. Since it isn't "100% straight up always going to happen", does that mean it is a good idea to strike matches around natural gas?

    What's that?
    --I didn't think so.

    The same is true with microbes and horizontal gene transfer. The germs are the room filled with natural gas, the genes being dumped are the match, and china is the idiot trying to strike it.

    If they keep at it, it's gonna blow up. That's how the numbers stack up in such things. We have microbial colonies forming these resistant genomes in such tiny envirnments as hospitals, ad whole new species of extremophiles evolving from conditions imposed in places like the JPL laboratories. Here we have industrial scale contamination, over wide areas of planet, with literally uncountable species of potentially harmful microbes being given opportunities to obtain those genes from horizontal transfer.

    Seriously. Pull the blindfold off.

  • by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @03:05AM (#45723413)

    Beta lactam resistance is common. That's the class of antibiotics which includes penicillin; not an antibiotic of last resort by any means.

    It's also the category which includes carbapenems like Imipenem and Meropenem which are last resort drugs. In particular, the production of metallo-beta-lactamases like NDM-1 is a key adaptation to resist them, and the article highlights the risk specifically to neutralizing carbapenems as the main cause of concern.

"The medium is the message." -- Marshall McLuhan