antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other pathogens on their return to their home countries, research.
Bacteria in particular are resistant to both the most common and the most effective antibiotics. Such bacteria became a gift, especially from trips to Southeast Asia.
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Antibiotic resistance refers to the resistance of a bacterium to an antibiotic that was previously able to cure the disease caused by that bacterium.
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Resistance develops when mutations occur in the genome of a bacterium or the bacterium acquires a gene that confers resistance to an antibiotic.
In a recent study, U.S. and Dutch researchers look for bacterial resistance genes in the intestines of long-distance tourists.
There were 190 Dutch tourists on their way to North Africa, East Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Stool samples were taken from subjects before and after the trip. Using the samples, the researchers looked at the intestinal microbiome, which is made up of bacteria and other microbes that live in the digestive tract. Antibodies that confer resistance to the antibiotic were searched for there using a method called sequencing.
The genes found in the sample were identified by comparing them to an extensive gene database. If a previously unknown gene was encountered, the researchers added it to the coliform bacterium to determine if the bacterium developed antibiotic resistance as a result of the gene.
The results showed that after long-distance travel, a greater and more diverse variety of antibiotic resistance genes was found in the faecal samples of the subjects.
In total, the researchers identified 56 new genes from the intestines of returnees.
The genes found in the intestines of the subjects who traveled to the same place were most similar to each other. The researchers therefore concluded that many of these genes were more or less local.
The most diverse genes were captured from trips to Southeast Asia.
The study also sought to identify high-risk genes that confer resistance to both the most common and the most effective antibiotics. Such “last resort” antibiotics are used, as the name implies, when standard antibiotics are no longer effective.
As many as six of the ten high-risk genes were found in the stool sample only after returning home. This suggests that tourists were exposed to these genes during their long-haul trip.
For example, the mcr-1 gene, which confers resistance to an antibiotic called colistin, was found in abundance in the samples. It is used as a last resort in the treatment of pneumonia and meningitis, among other things.
This gene was also found most in Southeast Asian tourists. More than a third of the subjects who traveled to the area had brought the mcr-1 gene with them.
“The results confirm that international travel is spreading antibiotic resistance worldwide. When they return home, tourists have a significant number of antibiotic resistance genes in their intestines, many of which are high-risk, ”concludes
in the bulletin.
The study was published in the journal Genome Medicine.
The researchers point out that antibiotic resistance genes were also found in the stool samples before the trip. According to them, it is possible that tourists will spread resistant bacteria from their home country at the destination.
Source: Tiede by www.tiede.fi.
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