Escherichia coli: poor hygiene in the bathroom is the most dangerous factor, according to a new study

It is the poor hygiene, in particular of environments such as bathrooms, rather than contaminated food or undercooked meat that facilitates the spread of Escherichia coli bacteria increasingly resistant to antibiotics according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of East Anglia .

Escherichia coli is a bacterium that is present in substantially all human intestines, as well as in those of most mammals. Some strains of them can cause intoxication or an infection, for example of the urinary tract or following intestinal surgery. In more serious cases, blood flow infections can also occur. Escherichia coli is becoming an increasingly pressing problem for the medical world as it is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics and the level of resistance that is accelerating in recent years. This concerns both men and animals, particularly those raised.

According to the study, which appeared in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the strains of bacteria of Escherichia coli resistant to antibiotics from human blood, feces or sewers are similar to each other while strains from meat, mainly chicken and cattle, or from sewage and animal waste, are different from those that infest man. In essence, according to the researchers, there are few cross-breeds of Escherichia coli with ESBL from animals to humans.

The researchers compared samples of human blood effects from Escherichia coli with ESBL with those of human feces, sewage, food and animal waste from five regions of the United Kingdom.
David Livermore, the researcher at Norwich Medical School and lead author of the study, says: “We examined over 20,000 faecal samples and about 9% were positive for ESBL- E. coli in all regions, except for London, where the rate of transport was almost double – at 17%. We found ESBL- E. coli in 65% of retail chicken samples, ranging from just over 40% in Scotland to over 80% in northwestern England. But the resistant E. coli strains were almost completely different from the types found in human feces, waste water and bloodstream infections.”

According to the researcher, this shows that most of the ESBL strains that have adapted to humans and that cause serious infections do not come from the meat they buy. More likely the transmission routes occur from human to human, for example through fecal particles of one person reaching the mouth of another.

According to the researcher, in the case of Escherichia coli with ESBL, it is much more important to wash your hands after going to the bathroom rather than paying attention to cooking foods (although you must still continue to cook the meat well to avoid contamination).

According to the researcher, this is especially important in public facilities, especially in nursing homes, as most serious Escherichia coli infections occur among the elderly.

By Bob Miller

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

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