Chilean scientists find antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Antarctica

Scientists from the University of Chile have found bacteria in Antarctica that are resistant to antibiotics and substances with antibacterial properties, such as copper and chlorine. As reported on the website of the university, bacteria have genes that provide such resistance.

Researchers during 2017 and 2019 collected soil samples in different areas of Antarctica. They studied the samples taken and found a variety of microorganisms in them. Moreover, many of them have the most unexpected abilities, including resistance to the action of many classes of antibiotics.

Scientists said that these properties were developed during evolution as a way to withstand extreme conditions. Moreover, resistance is programmed in the so-called mobile DNA fragments, which would make it easy to transfer the dangerous ability to other bacteria. This situation could lead to serious health problems at the global level, experts say.

Of particular interest to researchers was a group of Pseudomonas bacteria, which are one of the predominant groups in the soils of Antarctica. They show resistance to a large number of antibiotics of different classes. At the same time, soils contain Polaromonas bacteria, which contain enzymes that are able to inhibit beta-lactam antibiotics, which are necessary to treat various infections. Scientists hope that their discovery will help develop better drugs.

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