The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Resistant bacteria can remain in the body for years

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can remain in the body for years. Even nine years after an initial illness, researchers from the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel were able to detect resistant bacteria in certain patients.

"These patients can both repeatedly fall ill themselves and also be a source of infection for other people. They therefore represent a reservoir for these pathogens," Aguilar Bultet, lead author of the study, was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the University of Basel on Thursday.

The researchers led by Sarah Tschudin analyzed samples from over 70 people for the study, which was published in the journal "Nature Communications". These were infected with resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli bacteria. The focus of the study was on older people with pre-existing conditions.

Even after five or even nine years, the resistant bacteria were still detectable in some of the patients, as the study showed.

According to the University of Basel, this knowledge is crucial for the choice of treatment. This is because it shows that people who have been infected with a resistant bacterium are at risk of standard antibiotics not working in the event of a new infection.

©Keystone/SDA

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