To make this conclusion, the researchers worked with 40 samples taken at eight different locations in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, a remote area located in the Arctic Ocean.
According to the report published in the journal International International, a total of 131 genes have been found that make antibiotics resistant to bacteria.
These findings are associated with nine major classes of antibiotics, including aminoglycosides, macrolides and β-lactams, which are used to treat many infections.
By way of example, a gene that gives MDR (multi-resistance) was found in tuberculosis in all nuclei, whereas the one known as blaNDM-1 was found in more than 60% of the soil nuclei in the study.
According to the team led by David Graham of the University of Newcastle, UK, blaNDM-1 and other ARGs of medical significance are likely to spread on the Arctic soils in the fecal environment of birds and other wildlife in addition to visitors to the area.
Three years after the first detection of the blaNDM-1 gene in the surface waters of urban India, we found them thousands of kilometers in an area where there was minimal human impact, Graham said.
The invasion of areas like the Arctic has increased the rate and extent of antibiotic resistance, confirming that solutions have to be considered globally and not only locally, he said.
What people have done through excessive use of antibiotics on a global scale is to speed up the pace of evolution, creating a new world of invulnerable strains that never existed before, he explained.
With this excessive consumption, fecal discharges and pollution of drinking water, we have accelerated the speed at which super-dugs could develop, he said.
jha / rml