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Water and Wastewater Disinfection Can Help Prevent the Spread of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, but What about Their Genes?

By April 9, 2019No Comments

Each year at least 2 million Americans are infected with bacteria that cannot be treated with antibiotics, and at least 23,000 of these people die, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

These bacteria can end up in our water, which is why we use disinfectants to kill or stop them from growing to treat both waste and drinking water.

But so far few researchers have looked at whether these treatments are effective in removing the genes that encode for the traits that make these bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Some researchers are concerned that, even after treatment, non-resistant bacteria could still become resistant by picking up intact genes left over from damaged antibiotic resistant bacteria.