Headline, March 28 2019/ ''' '' SACRED GANGES SCREAMS '' '''


SCREAMS '' '''

ON A PLANET THAT IS ABOUT 4.5 BILLION years old, bacteria appeared 3.8 billion years ago. As they fed on one other - and later -

And later on molds, fungi, plants and animals - their victims evolved genes to make bacteria-killing proteins or toxins, nature's antibiotics. [Penicillin, for example, was discovered growing in mold.]

BUT TODAY IN INDIA : great and grave danger is flowing in the Ganges.

The SACRED river offers clues to drug-resistant germs that permeates its banks. High in the Himalayas, its easy to see why the Ganges River is considered sacred.

According to the Hindu legend, the Milky Way became this earthly body of water to wash away humanity's sins, As it drains out of glacier near Gangotri, in northern India, rock silt dyes the ice cold torrent an opaque gray, but biologically, the river is pristine - free of bacteria.

Then, long before it flows past any big cities, hospitals, factories or farms, its purity degrades. It becomes filled with a virulent type of bacteria that is resistant to common antibiotics.

The Ganges is a living proof that antibiotics-resistant infections, one of the world's most pressing public health problems. Its water provides clue to how these pathogens find their way into our ecosystem.

Ma Ganga - Mother Ganges - becomes one of the planet's most polluted rivers as it winds over 1,500 miles to the Bay of Bengal, acquiring a melange of urban sewage, animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers, industrial metals and rivulets of ashes from cremated bodies.

But annual tests by scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology show that antibiotic-resistant bacteria appear while the river is still flowing through the narrow gorges of the Himalayan foothills, hundreds of miles before it encounters any of the usual suspects that would pollute its waters with resistant germs.

The bacterial levels are ''astronomical high,'' said Shaikh Ziaiddin Ahamad, a professor of biochemical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology. The only possible source is humans, specifically in the throngs of ritual bathers who come to wash away their sins and immerse themselves in the waters.

Beyond the Ganges, India has some of the highest antibiotic-resistant rates in the world., according to a 2017 report from the government's Ministry of Science and Technology.

Tests showed that about 70 percent of four bacteria species commonly found in hospital patients were resistant to typical first-line antibiotics. Twelve percent to 71 percent - depending on the species tested - were also resistant to carbapenems, a class of antibiotics once considered the last line of defense.

Other studies confirm the danger. An article in Lancet Infectious Diseases found that about 57 percent of infections in India with Klebsiella Pneumonia, a common bacterium were carbapenem resistant.

But where exactly do these armies of drug-resistant germs come from? Are they already everywhere - in the soil beneath our feet, for example? Do they emerge in hospitals, where antibiotics are heavily used.

Are they bred in the intestines of livestock on factory farms? Do they arise in the fish, plants or plankton living in lakes downstream from pharmaceutical factories? Or are the germs just siting inside the patients themselves, waiting for their hosts to weaken enough for them to take over.

Research now being done in India and elsewhere suggests an answer to these questions? Yes, all of the above.

But how drug resistant bacterial jump from one human to another outside of a hospital setting, is the least understood part of the process, and that is why the findings from the Ganges are so valuable.

Antibiotic-resistance genes are not new. They are nearly as old as the life itself. I repeat : On a planet that is about 4.5 billion years old, bacteria appeared about 3.8 billion years ago. As they fed on one other - and later on molds, fungi, plants and animals - their victims evolved genes to make bacteria-killing proteins or toxins, nature's antibiotics.

The bacteria, in turn evolved defenses to negate these antibiotics. What modern medicine has done, scientists say, is put constant Darwinian pressure on bacteria.

Outside the body, they face sunlight, soap, heat, bleach, alcohol and iodine. Inside, they face multiple rounds of antibiotics.Only the ones that can evolve drug-resistant-genes - or grab them from a nearby species, which some bacteria can do - will survive.

The result is a global bout of sudden death elimination at a microscopic level. Bacteria once susceptible to all families of antibiotics have become resistant to penicillin, then tetracyclines, then cephalosporins, then fluoroquinolones - and so on, until nearly nothing works against them.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on India, Ganges and Threats, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Donald G. Mcneil Jr, and Poras Chaudhary.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders. Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

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Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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