Lakes in New South Wales: low antibiotic load only

07.06.2019 14:30

Lakes in New South Wales: low antibiotic load only

Temperatures are rising, many seek cooling in the waters. But what about the quality of water in the lakes? Do you need to be afraid of antibiotic-resistant germs? Scientists from the Institute of Hygiene and Public Health of the Bonn University Hospital have given the green light. You have sampled the bathing waters of NRW. Scientists found only very small amounts of antibiotics and corresponding resistant germs in 16 lakes. The results are now published in advance in the journal "Exposure and Health" online. The printed version will be published soon.

Antibiotics in bathing waters made the headlines last summer. Substances that are used in the fight against many infectious diseases, especially with wastewater in the environment. If humans are frequently exposed to antibiotics, resistant germs may form, against which these medical weapons are dulled. The Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection (MULNV) and the State Office for Nature, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection (MULNV) Environment and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia (LANUV) have therefore commissioned scientists from "One Health" AG under the direction of Dr. Ing. med. Dr. Agr. Ricarda Schmithausen of the Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (IHPH) of the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) responsible for the study of ten bathing waters in North Rhine-Westphalia . Hygienists also examined six other waters.

Two bathing waters appear to be permanently loaded less

During the seaside season of 2018, UKB scientists analyzed LANUV waters four times, including Baldeneysee, Fühlinger See and Zülpicher See. Hygienists examined the water samples for bacteria, antibiotic residues, and the corresponding resistance genes. "We can give the green light: the quality of the water was in line with the EU directive on bathing water and the amounts of antibiotics and contained resistant germs were very low", confirms Professor Dr. med. med. Dr. H. C. Martin Exner, Director of the IHPH. Low levels of antibiotic residues were measured in three bathing waters. Exposure to antibiotics and resistance genes (Baldeneysee and Seebad Haltern) is present in only two bathing waters. Four samples had sporadic low antibiotic contamination (Elfrather See, Freilinger See, Großer Weserbogen and Naturheilbad Heil). Ten bathing lakes have been completely unloaded.

Scientists believe that these low levels of exposure to antibiotics and resistance genes pose no risk to the health of healthy people. "However, patients with deficiencies of the immune system should generally avoid natural bathing waters," says Prof. Dr. med. Dr. Exner. People with risk factors, such as chronic wounds, open skin diseases, ongoing antibiotic therapy or urine catheters, advise the doctor to bathe in polluted water.

Other studies go in the same direction

"The results of the study are not directly applicable to other bathing waters," says the first author of the publication Dr. Ing. Manuel Döhla. However, water surveys conducted in Lower Saxony, Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate showed levels of antibiotics and similar resistance genes. Scientists at the Institute of Hygiene and Public Health at the University Hospital Bonn are looking to expand their bathing water research into antibiotics and resistance. Döhla: "We need more data to better categorize the risks for bathers."

Scientific contact:

Dr. med. Manuel Döhla
Institute of Hygiene and Public Health
University Hospital Bonn
Phone 0228/28714921

Dr. med. Dr. Agr Ricarda Schmithausen
Institute of Hygiene and Public Health
University Hospital Bonn, AG One Health
Phone 0228/28713452

Wilhelm Deitermann
Head of press office, press spokesperson
National Office for Nature, the Environment and Consumer Protection, NRW
Such. 0201/79951337

Original publication:

Manuel Döhla, Esther Sib, Barbara Dericks, Susanne Grobe, Katja Behringer, Monika Frechen, Katharina Simon, Harald Farber, Franziska Lenz, Marijo Parcina, Dirk Skutlarek, Carsten Felder, Alexander Voigt, Exner Martin, Ricarda Maria Schmithausen: Prevalence Assessment antibiotic-resistant bacteria and concentration of antibiotics in the EU bathing waters in West Germany, exposure and health, DOI: 10.1007 / s12403-019-00313-z

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