Navigation Links
Agricultural antibiotic use contributes to 'super-bugs' in humans

Doctors have become increasingly concerned by the problem of "super-bugs" - bacteria that have become resistant to standard antibiotics. It is well known that a high rate of antibiotic prescribing in hospitals contributes to the emergence of drug resistant bacteria. But for some antibiotics, an even more important factor contributing to such emergence, argues a team of researchers in the open access international medical journal PLoS Medicine, is the use of antibiotics in agriculture.

"Evidence suggests that antibiotic use in agriculture has contributed to antibiotic resistance in the pathogenic bacteria of humans," say David Smith of the Fogarty International Center, Jonathan Dushoff of Princeton University and the Fogarty International Center, and J.Glenn Morris Jr. of the University of Maryland.

Antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria are found in the air and soil around farms, in surface and ground water, in wild animal populations, and on retail meat and poultry. These resistant bacteria are carried into the kitchen on contaminated meat and poultry where other foods are cross-contaminated because of common, unsafe handling practices. Following ingestion, bacteria occasionally survive the formidable but imperfect gastric barrier to colonize the gut - which in turn may transmit the resistant bacteria to humans.

Smith and colleagues say that the transmission of antibiotic resistant bacteria from animal to human populations is difficult to measure, as it is "the product of a very high exposure rate to potentially contaminated food, and a very low probability of transmission at a given meal." Nevertheless, based on the analysis presented in PLoS Medicine, the authors suggest that "transmission from agriculture can have a greater impact on human populations than hospital transmission."

After first Denmark and then the European Union banned the use of antibiotics for growth promotion, say the authors, the prevalence of resistant ba cteria declined in farm animals, retail meat and poultry, and within the human general population. This provides evidence that antibiotic resistant bacteria can move between animals and humans.

The exact effects of agricultural antibiotic use on human health remain uncertain, they say, despite extensive investigation. "But the effects may be unknowable, unprovable, or immeasurable by the empirical standards of experimental biology." Given all of this uncertainty, Smith and colleagues suggest that adopting a "precautionary approach" - such as the European Union ban - would be suitable.


Citation: Smith DL, Dushoff J, Morris G Jr (2005) Agricultural antibiotics and human health. PLoS Med 2(8): e232.


Source:Public Library of Science

Related biology news :

1. Agricultural workers at increased risk for infection with animal flu viruses
2. Researchers make gains in understanding antibiotic resistance
3. Measuring hormone cuts antibiotic use in half in pneumonia patients
4. New book explains antibiotic resistance for a broad audience
5. Research on antibiotics receives historical recognition
6. Unusual antibiotics show promise against deadly superbugs
7. Doctors should stop prescribing antibiotics for the common cold, review advises
8. Gaining ground in the race against antibiotic resistance
9. Researchers find how some antibiotics kill bacteria
10. Einstein researchers identify new way that bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics
11. Study findings offer potential new targets for antibiotics
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/4/2015)... --> --> ... Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market - Global Industry ... 2022", the global home security solutions market is expected to reach ... market is estimated to expand at a CAGR of ... Rising security needs among customers at homes, the emergence ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Va. , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, ... today that it has released a new version of ... customers in North America have ... IdentityX v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified ... are already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... NEW YORK , Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... wearable technology, announced a partnership with 2XU, a ... accessories, to deliver a smart hat with advanced ... runners and other athletes to monitor key biometrics ... of the strategic partnership, the two companies will bring ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Studies reveal the differences in ... pave the way for more effective treatment for one of ...   --> --> Gum ... in cats, yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria ... been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ... and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting at ... New York . .   ... approximately 5 minutes prior to the presentation to download ... presentation will be available on the website approximately one ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership between the Academy of ... formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. , AMA Executive Director ... Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at AMA Headquarters in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 The Global ... a professional and in-depth study on the current ... (Logo: ) , The ... including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. ... international markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: