We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Antibiotic Resistance Boosted by Burning and Burying Rubbish
News

Antibiotic Resistance Boosted by Burning and Burying Rubbish

Antibiotic Resistance Boosted by Burning and Burying Rubbish
News

Antibiotic Resistance Boosted by Burning and Burying Rubbish

Credit: Pixabay
Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Antibiotic Resistance Boosted by Burning and Burying Rubbish"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Municipal solid waste is trash — such as plastic, food scraps and lawn clippings — that goes into garbage bins and doesn’t get recycled. Most of this waste is buried in landfills or is incinerated. Now, researchers have shown that when disposed of in this way, municipal solid waste can be an important source of antibiotic-resistance genes in the air.

Residual antibiotics from discarded medications and other products can end up in municipal solid waste. Some microbes in the garbage are resistant to those antibiotics, and they can spread resistance genes to other bacteria, allowing them to survive in the presence of these drugs. But scientists hadn’t studied whether treating the garbage through incineration or landfilling releases these bacteria and genes into the air, where people or animals could breathe them in. So Yi Luo, Xiangdong Li and colleagues wanted to investigate the bacterial community and associated antibiotic-resistance genes in the municipal solid waste treatment system of Changzhou, a city in eastern China.

The researchers collected air samples surrounding a landfill site, a municipal solid waste incinerator and two transfer stations (where garbage is delivered and processed). Air from both the municipal incinerator and the landfill site had higher levels of particulate matter and bacteria than upwind locations. The team identified 16 antibiotic-resistance genes in the air samples and tracked their source to municipal solid waste and leachate in the system. The genes were much more abundant in air downwind from the facilities than upwind. These results suggest that municipal solid waste treatment systems could be a reservoir of antibiotic-resistance genes that can be transmitted to nearby residents who breathe the air, the researchers say.

Reference

Li et al. (2020) Municipal Solid Waste Treatment System Increases Ambient Airborne Bacteria and Antibiotic Resistance Genes. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b07641

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Advertisement