Hospital wastewater promotes antibiotic resistance

Hospitals are dumping substantial amounts of antibiotic-resistant bacteria into the water supply, a study has demonstrated.

French researchers found the wastewater network was "highly contaminated" with extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli, particularly when sampled near hospitals.

Hospital effluent contained 27,000 colony-forming units/mL, compared with just 800 CFU/mL in general urban wastewater, researchers found.