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Antibiotic (Glycopeptide) resistanc

Steven Poet poets at ccmail.orst.edu
Mon Jul 10 14:45:02 EST 1995

Howard Magadanz <72457.205 at CompuServe.COM> wrote:
> I'm a development chemical engineer working at a bulk 
> pharmaceutical plant.  Can anyone help answer this question, how 
> important is the treatment of wastes generated in antibiotic 
> manufacturing?  If spent fermentation broth and purification 
> extracts containing significant amounts of several antibiotics 
> and related chemicals that have anti-microbial activity are 
> treated in a warm (45 C) activated sludge type micro biological 
> waste treatment plant, could this significantly contribute to the 
> development of antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria outside 
> of the plant?  I wouldn't expect pathogenic bacteria to be 
> present in the waste treatment plant, but the bacteria that do 
> exist in the plant would presumably become resistant to the 
> antibiotics produced at the plant.  Is it likely that these 
> resistant activated sludge bacteria could transfer their 
> resistance to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus after 
> discharge from the plant? 
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you need continual selective
pressure to maintain antibiotic resistance?  Isn't that why hospitals
are the best places to find resistant organisms?  It is also my 
understanding that when it comes to bacteria, almost anything is possible.

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