Published On: Thu, Mar 14th, 2019
Published in Category: Karachi

Sewage reveals levels of antimicrobial resistance worldwide

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Karachi: A comprehensive analysis of sewage collected from 74 cities in 60 countries by the eminent Aga Khan University – including Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh – has yielded the first comparable global data of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria that are present in mainly healthy people in these countries.

The researchers found that these countries fall within two groups: North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand generally have the lowest AMR levels which is considered good; while Asia, Africa and South America have the highest levels.

Using data from the World Bank, the researchers have also predicted AMR levels in 259 countries and drawn up a world map of resistance in healthy populations. According to their estimates, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden have the lowest levels of resistance, whereas Tanzania, Vietnam and Nigeria have the highest levels. Other countries with highest predicted AMR levels include Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh in South Asia, and Kenya and Uganda in East Africa. The researchers’ work shows that most of the variables, which are associated with the occurrence of AMR, are related to sanitation conditions in a country and its population’s general state of health. “Findings of this study suggest that improving sanitation, health and education as part of the Sustainable Development Goals would be effective strategies for limiting the global burden of AMR,” said Dr Hasan.

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