One of the latest studies by a team of researchers in the U. K. discovered that surfers suffered a higher risk of carrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their intestines. The study found that surfers had 3 times more antibiotic-resistant (AR) bacteria in their intestines than non-surfers. The study tested the gut bacteria of 300 participants, around half the participants surfed in U.K’s coastal waters & the other half weren’t ocean enthusiasts and acted as a control group.
While it’s common knowledge among water sports lovers that surfers swallow much more sea water than swimmers or any other water sports participants, it was a surprise that surfers harboured more antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli) in their stomachs. Researchers found that faecal samples showed 9% of the surfers harboured anti-biotic resistant bacteria compared to 3% of people who didn’t surf. Cefotaxime was prescribed previously to treat anti-biotic resistant bacterial infections. But recent observations by researchers point to the fact that Cefotaxime may be losing its effectiveness among antibiotic-resistant strains.
The researchers speculate that treated water draining from farms and other waste water management sources enter and pollute sea water, indirectly affecting surfers.
The researchers cautioned that results may differ from region to region depending upon factors such as water treatment practices.