According to a global study, air pollution is contributing to the rise in antibiotic resistance, which is a serious threat to human health everywhere.
The study, which examined information from more than 100 nations spanning nearly two decades, found a connection between developing antibiotic resistance and increased air pollution in every nation and continent.
It also implies that the relationship between them has been stronger over time, with higher gains in antibiotic resistance occurring at the same time as larger increases in air pollution levels.
“Our analysis presents strong evidence that increasing levels of air pollution are associated with increased risk of antibiotic resistance,” researchers from China and the UK wrote. “This analysis is the first to show how air pollution affects antibiotic resistance globally.”
One of the hazards to world health that is escalating the fastest is antibiotic resistance. According to estimates, it already kills 1.3 million people a year and can afflict people of any age in any nation.
The misuse and overuse of antibiotics, which are used to treat infections, remain the main causes. However, the study contends that the issue is getting worse as a result of increased air pollution.
The scientific basis for how the two might be connected was not examined in the study. According to the scientists, there is evidence that particulate matter PM2.5 may include genes and bacteria resistant to antibiotics that can spread between settings and be directly absorbed by people.
The biggest environmental risk to public health is already air pollution. Chronic diseases including heart disease, asthma, and lung cancer are linked to long-term exposure to air pollution, which lowers life expectancy.
Short-term exposure to high amounts of pollution can result in coughing, wheezing, and asthma episodes, which is increasing hospital and GP visits globally.
According to the study, which is the first comprehensive global examination of potential connections between the two, reducing air pollution may aid in reducing antibiotic resistance. It further said that reducing air pollution could significantly lower the number of fatalities and monetary losses brought on by diseases with antibiotic resistance.
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