JUL 10, 2016 6:51 AM PDT

Mayo Clinic Specialist Discusses Drug-Resistant Bacteria in Rio

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

It's recently been reported that some drug-resistant super bacteria have been detected in waters around Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where summer 2016 Olympics sailing events are soon to be held. An infectious diseases specialist with the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Pritish Tosh explains that contact with contaminated water is not usually enough to cause disease. The presence is of concern, however.

Pathogenic organisms usually need extra help to survive inside the gut. Superbugs however, don't often have many of those extra requirements.

One new class of antibiotics is called carbapenems. Some bacteria are resistant to this class of drugs and are referred to as drug-resistant super bacteria, or specifically, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). Often, people infected with those pathogens cannot be treated easily and sometimes die from their illness.

Dr. Tosh expounds upon some of the causes of drug-resistance, like the ease of obtaining antibiotics in developing nations, and the misuse of those antibiotics, as well as a lack of good sewage treatment.
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  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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