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Category: Infectious Diseases
While scientists have previously determined that the overuse of antibiotics could result in highly-resistant forms of bacteria, new research by the National University of Ireland suggests that misusing common disinfectants could have the same effect.
During a study which will be published in the January 2010 issue of the journal Microbiology, researchers concluded that bacteria associated with hospital-acquired infections became 12 times less susceptible to a disinfectant if it was grown in close proximity to the antiseptic, CNN Health reports.
The presence of the disinfectant also caused the bacteria to be 256 times more resistant to the common antibiotic ciprofloxacin, even though the bacteria had never been exposed to it.
George Allen of the Oregon Health and Science told the news source, "The most immediate concern for hospitals would be [a bacteria's] resistance to a particular disinfectant, but these investigators showed the use of a disinfectant caused resistance to an antibiotic."
He added, "It's these more unexpected effects that a disinfectant can have on existing antibiotics that I would say is the more serious long-term consequence."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meningitis, pneumonia and strep throat are examples of diseases caused by bacterial infection.
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