Herbicides undermine antibiotics, threaten medical care

Date Written:  2018-11-20
Publisher:  Climate and Capitalism
Year Published:  2018
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23117

A New Zealand study adds to the body of evidence that industrial herbicides, not intended to be antibiotics, can have profound effects on bacteria, with potentially negative implications for medicine's ability to treat infectious diseases.



"The combination of chemicals to which bacteria are exposed in the modern environment should be addressed alongside antibiotic use if we are to preserve antibiotics in the long-term," he says.

An important finding of the new study was that even in cases where the herbicides increase the toxicity of antibiotics they also significantly increased the rate of antibiotic resistance, which the study's authors say could be contributing to the greater use of antibiotics in both agriculture and medicine.

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