Fiocruz researchers found super-bacteria in the waters of Rio de Janeiro


Carioca River. Photo: Wickipedia

December 2014

Scientists at the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (IOC / Fiocruz) found an antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the waters of the Carioca River, which flows into the bay where sailors will compete in the Olympic sailing events in 2016.

Most commonly found in hospitals, the bacteria produces the KPC enzyme,  what makes it resistant to most forms of treatment.  The superbug was found in water samples collected at different spots of the river, including where it flows into the Flamengo Beach, where the sailing events will be held.

According to  the Fiocruz researcher Ana Paula D’Alincourt Carvalho Assef,  the main concern is the spread of this type of antibiotic resistance, which can hamper the control of some infections.

“Until now, there is no records of  contamination among swimmers, but the results were sent to the competent authorities, who can better choose which measures should be adopted, “said the microbiologist.

The superbug can cause urinary, gastrointestinal and pulmonary infections. According to the researcher, the problem is that in case of infection it is possible that treatment involves hospitalization:

Praia do Flamengo

Flamengo Beach, where bay where Olympic sailing and windsurfing events will be held. Photo; Wickipedia.

“Since the super-bacteria are resistant to the most modern medications, doctors need to rely on drugs that are rarely used because they are toxic to the organism,” she explained.

In its Olympic bid, Rio promised to reduce pollution in Guanabara Bay by 80%. But in June Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes admitted the target would not be met.

Sources: Portal Fiocruz and BBC

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