Bacteria were collected from this hot spring in the El Tatio region in northern Chile. Image: Yaroslav Ispolatov
Bacteria might travel large distances by air - life short science news

Molecular analysis of bacteria living in hot springs shows that populations living in different places share genetic markers of bacteriophage (viruses of bacteria) infections. This shows that bacteria from one location, where the infection occurred, can spread to another, even thousands of miles away.

While animals do not approach the hot water in the springs, researchers believe that bacteria must therefore travel by air.

If this is confirmed by measurements in the air, this would have an impact on how we think about the spread of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. They would then be expected to be able to spread across the globe much easier than previously believed.

Read the full story: Rutgers University
Scientific publication: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B