Drug Resistant Microbes were Found in African Wildlife


Drug resistance has always been one of the issues that scientists work hard to find ways out for better diseases treatment, as it hinders many drugs that were developed with much effort from taking effect in the body. And till now, there is little known about the formation of antibiotic microbes. Recent studies found drug resistant microbes in wildlife that are never directly exposed to any drug, which triggers the probe into how the microbes are formed.

Another question “Is it possible for these microbes to be transmitted to humans from wildlife?” arises after the finding of antibiotic-resistant microbes in wildlife. For how the drug resistant microbes are developeds in wildlife, there are several suggestions. They develop on them own. Besides the natural environment they live in can be interfered by human activities with the traces of air and water, in which antibiotic substances from waste and agricultural material may be contained. And the latter factor may contribute to the self-developing process.

Another study found that various drug-resistant microbes exist in wildlife, and they are similar to the ones in humans who live in the prime village close to the animals living area. A report published this month in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, in which the study result was stated. The study was conducted in 2011, fecal sampless from 18 wildlife species and humans in Africa were collected and tested for common antibiotic-resistant microbes- Escherichia coli. And then antibiotic resistance for several commonly used first-line antibiotics for malaria and tuberculosis was measured.

The result for the research is that over 40% wildlife and 90% human carry with Escherichia coli for one strain of antibiotic. And in the 40% animals, elephant and leopard are in the list, which may mean the great majority of these animals are the common ones in Africa. And about 10% wildlife and 70% humans are resistant to more than two types of first-line antibiotics, including ampicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline, etc.

With these data, the reason for how these wild animals develop antibiotic resistance in their bodes still can’t be ensured, along with the relationship between them and the nearby human villages. But the suggested reasons are of high possibility.