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Common houseflies threaten to spread deadly superbugs, claim scientists

Monday, January 31, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: superbugs, houseflies, health news

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(NaturalNews) Infection by deadly "superbugs" like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is no longer limited to just hospitals, according to a new report published in the journal BioMed Central Microbiology. Dr. Ludek Zurek from Kansas State University (KSU) and his colleagues say that farm animals now contain antibiotic-resistant super-bacteria in their guts, and that common houseflies feeding on their excrement may be capable of spreading disease directly to humans.

Antibiotic overuse both in hospitals and in farm animals has led to the emergence of deadly superbugs resistant to even the most powerful antibiotic drugs (http://www.naturalnews.com/029485_antibiotic...). And this resistance, while largely limited to hospitals in the past, is now showing up on farms, where conventional animal raising methods have fostered an environment conducive to the growth and spread of superbugs.

"The digestive tract bacteria in pigs are often exposed to selective pressure and many become resistant to antibiotics," explained Dr. Zurek in a U.K. Daily Mail report. "Consequently, there's a risk that these bacteria might be transferred -- by common livestock and urban pests such as houseflies and cockroaches from pig farms to humans."

According to scientists, houseflies can travel for miles, which means they can easily make their way from farms to people's homes. And at each stop they make, flies regurgitate their bacteria-laden saliva, leaving traces of deadly super-bacteria all along the way. And even though no cases of bug-induced super-bacteria have yet been observed, experts fear that it could eventually become a major health concern.

"This has serious implications for both animals and humans," said Richard Young from the U.K. Soil Association, the leading organic advocacy organization in the U.K. "Excessive antibiotic use in farm animals leads to higher levels of antibiotic resistance, which can have consequences for animal health and welfare, as diseases become untreatable, and for human health, when resistant bacteria transfer from animals to humans."

Sources for this story include:

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