Thursday, December 06, 2012

Antibiotic-treated animals' waste contributes to development of resistant strains, study finds

Urine from livestock treated with antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance in humans, according to a Washington State University study. The findings come just seven months after the Food and Drug Administration issued new rules limiting use of the antibiotic cephalosporin in cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys because of concerns that it might cause failure of life-saving antibiotics in humans, notes Michael Fielding of Meatingplace, a journal for the meat industry.

"Even short-term persistence in soil provides an advantage to resistant E. coli populations, resulting in significantly prolonged persistence of these bacteria in the soil," researchers say in the study, published in the journal Plos One this month. They found that a variety of bacteria may develop resistance within 24 hours, including E. coli and salmonella, especially in warm weather. antibiotic cephalosporins are used to treat salmonella and shigella, mostly in children.

Researchers suggest in the study that on-farm interventions, including "bioremediation" and improved waste management, may help slow the increase of antibiotic resistance. (Read more)

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