Superbug that came from hedgehogs 源自刺蝟皮膚的超級細菌

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研究發現,一種可抵禦抗生素、屬於耐甲氧西林金黃色葡萄球菌( MRSA )的超級細菌,是野生刺蝟皮膚上的真菌和細菌相互鬥爭而自然進化出來的。

Having discovered this strain of MRSA in dairy cattle a decade ago, scientists from the University of Cambridge wanted to know where it came from, and whether the use of antibiotics on farms had caused it to emerge.

十年前,劍橋大學的科學家在乳牛中發現了耐甲氧西林金黃色葡萄球菌(MRSA)的這支菌株,他們想瞭解它來自何處,以及在農場使用抗生素是否導致了它的出現。

So, a team of biologists across Europe collected and examined more than a thousand samples of the bacteria taken from wild animals. Their painstaking genetic investigation revealed that the strain evolved on hedgehog skin more than 200 years ago in an evolutionary arms race with a common skin fungus that releases a natural antibiotic.

因此,來自歐洲各地的一個生物學家團隊收集並檢查了從野生動物身上採集的一千多個樣本。經過潛心研究,他們的基因調查顯示,200多年前,這支菌株是在與一種釋放天然抗生素的普通皮膚真菌爭相進化時,在刺蝟的皮膚上演生出來的。

But the researchers stress that while it’s crucial to understand the sources of antibiotic resistance in nature, our own overuse of antibiotics is the main driver of resistance in harmful bacteria.

但研究人員強調,雖然瞭解自然界抗生素耐藥性的來源至關重要,但人類自身對抗生素的濫用才是有害細菌產生耐藥性的主要驅動因素。

詞彙表

strain (病菌的)株,品種
antibiotics 抗生素
emerge 出現
painstaking 辛勤的,潛心的
evolutionary 進化的
fungus 真菌
resistance 耐藥性,抵抗力
overuse 過度使用,濫用

閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題。

1. Where was this strain of MRSA discovered?

2. How many samples of bacteria did a team of biologists across Europe collect from wild animals?

3. According to the findings, when and where did this new strain originally come from?

4. What do scientists say is the main driver in the resistance of harmful bacteria in humans?

答案  

1. Where was this strain of MRSA discovered?
This strain of MRSA was originally discovered in dairy cattle 10 years ago.

2. How many samples of bacteria did a team of biologists across Europe collect from wild animals?
They collected more than a thousand samples.

3. According to the findings, when and where did this new strain originally come from?
It evolved on hedgehog skin over 200 years ago.

4. What do scientists say is the main driver in the resistance of harmful bacteria in humans?
Our own overuse of antibiotics.