Press Esc to close
Tuesday 30 August 2016
News updated at 12:45 PM IST
Weather
Max: 27.4°C
Min : 20.8°C
In Bengaluru
Generally cloudy

Polluted Ganga still has medicinal qualities

Last updated: 10 September, 2009
Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow, DH News Service:

River water could be used to develop new antibiotic

Despite being polluted, the waters of the Ganges still possess ‘medicinal qualities’ and could pave the way for developing new ‘anti-microbial compounds’.


According to a research conducted by a senior scientist of Lucknow-based National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), a prestigious CSIR laboratory, Dr Chandrashekhar Nautiyal, the Ganga waters have ‘anti-bacterial qualities’.

Dr Nautiyal’s research paper has been published in the International Journal ‘Current Microbiology’.

“The study was conducted to validate the ancient knowledge about the antimicrobial effect of Ganga water and to evaluate the potential of Ganga water to explore the possibility of using it as a source of antimicrobial compounds”, Dr Nautiyal told Deccan Herald here. “The objective of this study was to evaluate the incorruptible self-purificatory characteristic and microbial community structure of Ganga water, when spiked with E.coli O157:H7”, he said.

E.coli is a worldwide cause of infection in humans and animals. E.coli O157:H7 is responsible for causing diarrhoea and urinary tract infection, he added. It is common knowledge that Ganga water does not putrefy, even after long periods of storage. Water has been used from time immemorial for remedial purposes. Most religious beliefs involve some ceremonial use of ‘holy’ water.

Ernest Hankin, a British bacteriologist, reported in 1896 on the presence of marked antibacterial activity against Vibrio cholerae, which he observed in the water of the Ganga and suggested that it might help to decrease the incidence of cholera in people using water from the Ganges.

Though invisible, it was possible to show that this principle was particulate and it was called ‘bacteriophage’.

“Thus in a way the world owes the discovery of bacteriophages to the Ganges water”, Dr Nautiyal said.

Matter of survival

He said during the research it was found that E.coli could survivie for only three days in a three-day old sample of Ganga water. The bacteria survivied for seven days in the Ganga water sample collected eight years back while it lasted for 15 days in a 16-year old sample of the Ganga water.

The E.coli however survived for longer time in boiled water, he said. A study of factors affecting the survival of E. coli in Ganga water is of great interest due to its importance as an indicator of fecal pollution in natural waters. It is ancient knowledge that Ganges water does not putrefy, even after long periods of storage, thus water from the Ganges has for millennia been regarded as incorruptible, Dr Nautiyal said.

Dr Nautiyal says this quality of the Ganga water could be used to develop a new anti-biotic which could be more useful in fighting bacterial infections. “There is however need for more research in this regard”, he said.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar with Hollywood actor Will Smith during a party in Mumbai...

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar with Hollywood actor Will Smith during a party in Mumbai...

An artisian paints the idol of Lord Ganesha ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi at Beawar in Rajasthan...

An artisian paints the idol of Lord Ganesha ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi at Beawar in Rajasthan...

Kareena Kapoor showcases a creation by designer Sabyasachi grand finale show of Lakme Fashion Week..

Kareena Kapoor showcases a creation by designer Sabyasachi grand finale show of Lakme Fashion Week..

Alphorn musicians perform in Nesselwang, southern Germany, Sunday...

Alphorn musicians perform in Nesselwang, southern Germany, Sunday...

Britney Spears performs at the MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden....

Britney Spears performs at the MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden....

Awardees at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2016 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan...

Awardees at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2016 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan...

MNS party members staging a protest against ban on sale of meat for four days during festival...

MNS party members staging a protest against ban on sale of meat for four days during festival...

Bollywood actor Zayed Khan during a promotional event in Jaipur on Monday...

Bollywood actor Zayed Khan during a promotional event in Jaipur on Monday...

Women attack a fire vehicle after death of two persons in a fire due to alleged negligence...

Women attack a fire vehicle after death of two persons in a fire due to alleged negligence...

Siddharth Malhotra and actress Katrina Kaif share a light moment at Sabarmati river...

Siddharth Malhotra and actress Katrina Kaif share a light moment at Sabarmati river...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523