Bacteria with antibiotic resistant genes discovered in Antarctica, scientists say -Breaking
© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: An Antarctica scientist gathers organic material to search for bacteria. Photo courtesy of University of Chile/Handout via REUTERS
SANTIAGO, (Reuters) – Scientists in Chile have discovered that bacteria in Antarctica has genes that provide natural anti-bacterial and antibiotic resistance. They could spread to other polar regions.
Andres Marcoleta from the University of Chile, who led the March Science of the Total Environment journal study, stated that the “superpowers”, which have evolved to resist extreme environments, are found in mobile DNA fragments, which can be easily transferred to other bacteria.
Marcoleta explained that it is known that soils in the Antarctic Peninsula are home to an amazing diversity of bacteria. This area has been impacted the most by melting ice. They also discovered that some bacteria could provide resistance to antibiotics from ancestral genes.
Researchers from the University of Chile have collected numerous samples from Antarctic Peninsula between 2017 and 2019.
Marcoleta stated, “It’s worth asking whether climate changes could impact the occurrence infectious diseases.”
These genes might leave the reservoir in a scenario that could promote the spread and proliferation of infectious diseases.
The Antarctic Peninsula’s predominant bacteria group, Pseudomonas, was found to be non-pathogenic. However, they can provide a source of resistance genes that are resistant to common disinfectants, such as chlorine or quaternary.
Marcoleta stated that they did not find any other type of bacteria. However, Polaromonas bacteria does possess the potential to inactivate Beta-lactam types antibiotics. These are crucial for different infections.