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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

How air pollution boosts bacterial disease

Friday March 3rd, 2017

Disease-causing bacteria are directly affected by air pollution, which can increase their resistance to drugs, British researchers reported today.

The Leicester University researchers say that pollution has a specially strong effect on bacteria in the respiratory tract.

Their research shows how black carbon in air pollution alters the antibiotic tolerance of Staphylococcus aureus and increases Streptococcus pneumoniae resistance to penicillin.

It also leads to the Streptococcus spreading from the nose to the respiratory tract, according to the research published in Environmental Microbiology.

Researcher Dr Julie Morrissey said: “Our research could initiate an entirely new understanding of how air pollution affects human health.

"It will lead to enhancement of research to understand how air pollution leads to severe respiratory problems and perturbs the environmental cycles essential for life.”

The university's pro-vice-chancellor Professor Paul Monks said: “The lead investigators have brought together their expertise in genetics, microbiology and air pollution chemistry to provide truly multidisciplinary ground breaking insights.

“This research has significant potential to initiate a global research effort to understand a hitherto unknown effect of air pollution and provide significant additional impetus to the control of pollution.”

Air pollution alters Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae biofilms, antibiotic tolerance and colonisation Environmental Microbiology 28 February 2017 [abstract]

Tags: Respiratory | Traveller Health | UK News

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