A bacteria that causes diarrhea has been upgrading itself into a superbug thanks to the high amounts of sugar that are being consumed in the western world. The bacteria is called Clostridium difficile. It produces spores when it comes into contact with feces.
Because of this it is found in bathroom surfaces or is spread around by lack of hygiene. What is more alarming is that the bacteria has become much more resistant to disinfectants that are crucial for hospital use.
Harmful bacteria working well with antibiotics
Patients that are receiving antibiotic treatment are more likely to contract the bacteria. This is because gut bacteria is cleared away by antibiotics. The healthy bacteria found in the digestive systems combat harmful influences like the Clostridium difficile bacteria. To avoid this, antibiotics should be taken with a digestive supplement.
Evolution of the Clostridium difficile
A new study into the bacteria has been formed by Nitin Kumar, a senior bioinformatician at the Wellcome Trust Sager Institute. His team has collected over 900 strains of the bacteria from different environmental sources, as well as humans and animals.
The research team has analyzed the strains of DNA from these samples. They have found out that the bacterium is evolving into two separate variants. As much so that the variants are being considered to be different species.
For two specimens to be considered to be part of the same species, their gnomes need to match at a minimum of 95 percent. The Clostridium difficile variants currently have a little less than the necessary requirement. Somewhere between 94 and 95 percent.
Sugar-rich diets turned Clostridium difficile into a superbug
Bacteria are known to evolve if exposed to the right conditions. Variant A of the bacterium mentioned above has been doing so in hospitals, despite the presence of disinfectants. The bacteria species is thought to have started an evolution process 76.000 years ago.
Tests with mice have been performed to see the properties of the bacterium. It has been noted that mice that had sugar-rich diets provided optimal conditions for Clostridium difficile to thrive in the gut and turn into a superbug.