HEALTHY LIVING
07/18/2013 06:29 pm ET Updated Jul 18, 2013

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Found In Hudson River

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So, here's even more reason not to go swimming in the Hudson.

Researchers from Columbia University and Queens College of the City University of NewYork found strains of bacteria resistant to common antibiotics -- including ampicillin and tetracycline -- in New York's Hudson River. And according to researcher Andrew Juhl, who is a microbiologist at the university's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, "we have a strong case to make that it's coming from untreated sewage."

Researchers found that certain parts of the Hudson seemed to harbor more antibiotic-resistant bacteria than others, including Flushing Bay, which is near LaGuardia Airport, and Newtown Creek, which is by Brooklyn and Queens. Other bacteria-heavy parts included swaths near Yonkers, near West 125th Street in Manhattan, and near sewage pipes by Rockland County's Piermont Pier.

The findings, which are published in the Journal of Water and Health, involved multiple visits to 10 different parts of the Hudson river. The researchers reported that ampicillin-resistant bacteria was found 84 percent of the time, and tetracycline-resistant bacteria was found 38 percent of the time.

"This study is the first to document the widespread distribution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the HRE [Hudson River Estuary] and to demonstrate clearly a link between the abundance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and levels of sewage-associated bacteria in an estuary," the researchers wrote in the study.

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