Southern Europeans use more antibiotics and they tend to carry a higher number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria than people in northern Europe. According to a recent international study in seven European countries the use of antibiotics mirror concentrations of resistant bacteria in wastewater. Higher concentrations of resistant bacteria are found in wastewater treatment plants in Southern European countries.
The study was published at the end of March in Science Advances and was conducted in Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Ireland, Finland, Norway and Germany. All of the countries investigated in the study had various antibiotic resistance genes in the wastewater entering their treatment plants. The number of resistance genes found in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP’s) was higher in Portugal, Spain, Cyprus and Ireland than in Finland, Norway and Germany.