Hyderabad: The Kazipally lake is becoming a spawning ground for “superbugs” — bacteria that are resistant to a wide range of antibiotics — due to inflow of effluents in the lake from pharmaceutical plants.
In a recently published study, researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, stated that the lake has more than 80 antibiotic-resistant gene types among its bacteria.
When contacted, Prof. Joakim Larsson, one of the researchers, said, “Such polluted lakes can serve as recruitment grounds for antibiotic resistance genes, which might ultimately end up in disease causing human pathogens. The bacteria present in the contaminated environment have developed lots of mechanisms to survive antibiotics. If they come in contact with some dangerous disease-causing human pathogen, they could transfer genetic material between each other. The resulting drug resistant pathogen will be very difficult to treat.”
Radha Rangarajan, CEO of Vitas Pharma, a drug discovery company based in Hyderabad, said, “The WHO cites antibacterial resistance as the third biggest threat to human health. Multidrug-resistant infections are on the rise across the world.”
A major percentage of the bacteria in Kazipally have developed resistance to fluoroquinolones, a broad spectrum of antibiotics used to treat severe respiratory and urinary tract infections.