Half of bacteria on London's door handles 'are antibiotic-resistant'

London commuters are exposed to superbugs en route to WORK: Study finds half of bacteria on the city's door handles, escalators and train station gates are resistant to antibiotics Scientists swabbed 600 frequently-touched locations around the capital city They found 46.8 per cent of samples showed signs of antibiotic resistance Widely-used medicines are becoming less effective as bacteria mutate Research last week found resistant bugs in the River Thames and Hyde Park

By Sam Blanchard Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 14:00 BST, 1 August 2019 | Updated: 14:06 BST, 1 August 2019

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are lurking on around half of door handles, toilets and lift buttons across London, a study has found.

Scientists who swabbed regularly-touched surfaces in the city discovered almost 300 of samples could cause infections which medicine would struggle to cure.

Most of these were found in hospitals but there were also resistant bacteria living on escalators in shopping centres and on train station ticket gates.

As the threat of bacteria evolving to be untreatable with standard medications, scientists find there are fewer and fewer places the organisms can't be found.

The research comes less than week after another study found resistant bacteria thriving in the city's bodies of water including the Thames and Regent's and Hyde parks.

Train station gates, toilets, door handles and escalator handrails were among the places where scientists found bacteria which had evolved to be resistant to bacteria (stock image)

Train station gates, toilets, door handles and escalator handrails were among the places where scientists found bacteria which had evolved to be resistant to bacteria (stock image)

Researchers led by the University of East London took 600 swabs from frequently touched places around England's capital.

Some 418 of these were taken from East London and the remaining 182 from the west – there were proportionally more resistant strains in the east.

The scientists said the bacteria strains they found – all of which were different forms of staphylococcus – were responsible for ailments ranging from 'minor skin infections to life-threatening diseases'.

And 46.8 per cent of the swab samples were 'multidrug resistant' – able to survive more than one commonly used antibiotic. 

'General public areas and common public areas in hospitals in London can be reservoirs for multidrug resistant staphylococci,' the researchers, led by PhD student Rory Cave, wrote in their paper.

Antibiotic resistance has been listed as one of the most

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