“Superbacterias” Resistant To Antibiotics Found In Pig And Chicken Meat
November 27, 2015China
A group of scientists has discovered a bacterium resistant to antibiotics with an alarming epidemic potential. They found this “superbug” in animals and humans in China. Scientists have warned that the origin of resistant bacteria may be due to the indiscriminate use of certain antibiotics (polymyxin) in livestock.
The team found a gene (mcr-1) that is transferred between different bacteria that cause pneumonia and other illnesses, making them resistant to the latest generations of antibiotics. Although this gene has been found in China, they warn that it can spread to other bacteria and even worldwide.
Researchers analyzed the bacteria from pigs of four Chinese provinces. They also took samples of pig and chicken meat from 30 street markets and 27 supermarkets in Guangzhou between 2011 and 2014. Bacteria from patients with infectious diseases from different hospitals were also analyzed. They found high amounts of mcr-1, which is the cause of the problem in bacteria samples and raw meat. They also found a troubling increase of the gene in the analyzed humans.
David Peterson and Patrick Harris of the University of Queensland in Australia, commented in the medical journal The Lancet that there is a direct link between the agricultural use of antibiotics and the resistance to these antibiotics in factory farmed animals and humans.