posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 10:35 AM
New strains of E. coli evolve through the natural biological process of mutation and through horizontal gene transfer. Some strains develop traits
that can be harmful to a host animal. These virulent strains typically cause a bout of diarrhoea that is unpleasant in healthy adults and is often
lethal to children in the developing world. More virulent strains, such as O157:H7 cause serious illness or death in the elderly, the very young or
Virulent strains of E. coli can cause gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, and neonatal meningitis. In rarer cases, virulent strains are also
responsible for haemolytic-uremic syndrome, peritonitis, mastitis, septicaemia and Gram-negative pneumonia.
E. coli quickly acquires drug resistance,Recent research suggests treatment with antibiotics does not improve the outcome of the disease, and may in
fact significantly increase the chance of developing haemolytic-uremic syndrome.
Bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotics. However, the antibiotic sensitivities of different strains of E. coli vary widely.
Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem. Some of this is due to overuse of antibiotics in humans, but some of it is probably due to the use of
antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feeds. A study published in the journal Science in August 2007 found the rate of adaptative mutations in E.
coli is "on the order of 10−5 per genome per generation, which is 1,000 times as high as previous estimates," a finding which may have
significance for the study and management of bacterial antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic-resistant E. coli may also pass on the genes responsible for antibiotic resistance to other species of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus
aureus, through a process called horizontal gene transfer. E. coli bacteria often carry multiple drug-resistance plasmids, and under stress, readily
transfer those plasmids to other species. Indeed, E. coli is a frequent member of biofilms, where many species of bacteria exist in close proximity to
each other. This mixing of species allows E. coli strains that are piliated to accept and transfer plasmids from and to other bacteria. Thus, E. coli
and the other enterobacteria are important reservoirs of transferable antibiotic resistance.
E. coli are highly resistant to an array of antibiotics, and infections by these strains are difficult to treat. In many instances, only two oral
antibiotics and a very limited group of intravenous antibiotics remain effective. In 2009, a gene called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (shortened
NDM-1) that even gives resistance to intravenous antibiotic carbapenem, were discovered in India and Pakistan on E. coli bacteria.
Increased concern about the prevalence of this form of "superbug" in the United Kingdom has led to calls for further monitoring and a UK-wide
strategy to deal with infections and the deaths.
There has been many studies not just about the action of antibiotics interacting with E coli, but also studies have shown there may be a link between
E coli and enviromental pollution. We can say a lot about the interaction of E coli and drugs in a lab. Also small scale tests with chemicals can
produce some interesting information.
but and its a BIG BUT. It is imposible to fully run tests to show what would happen to E coli in respect to the enviroment in real time.
many outbreaks around the world of several diseases has shown that apart from natural mutations, add to this pollution, chemicals used on farmers
fields, drugs for animals, plus add to this mix the changing weather.
Were a disease would only cause mild upset to a human. The introduction of chemical run offs, spraying and drugs that are used by humans entering the
water chain. Can rapidly change a once mild disease into a deadly disease.
Then top this off with an area weather change, some disease are kept down by the area being dry or cold or wet. If for what ever reasons this changes
can have a major impact on the disease.
yes there might be certain groups who would want to develope a disease to change its fatality, this might happen.
But amongst the science field the main worry is that due to human activities in the enviroment and the wide spread use of antibiotice and chemicals.
Will mutate a disease that will have the identities of several disease and multiple vectores to enter the human body.
Without meaning to do it, or due to ignorance we are turning the world into a biological fermentation tank. We introduce one drug or chemical to
combat onething. Without seeing the implications when this element interacts with the enviroment. Many drugs and chemicals are rushed onto the scene,
to combat an outbreak or illness. Then it meets all the other drugs, chemicals, pollution and mutates and returns to haunt us.