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Antibiotic-pumped livestock identified as major cause of deadly antibiotic resistance


Livestock

(NaturalNews) Overuse of antibiotics for raising livestock is creating an escalating situation of drug resistant infections in humans. An imbalance is developing between humans and their food, as drug resistant, food-borne pathogens resist routine, therapeutic antibiotic use. As beef cattle, chicken, dairy cows and pigs are pumped full of antibiotics for maximum growth, food systems are inadvertently creating drug resistant food-borne illnesses that can leave people sick for days – shaky, feverish and vomiting.

If you've ever come down with a food-borne illness, you understand how sudden and debilitating it can be. Severe cramping in the abdominal region, diarrhea and vomiting are common as the body tries to destroy and remove the food-borne pathogen.

Food-borne pathogens become more pervasive as bacterium evolve and build resistance to antibiotics

The 2013 CDC Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report now warns of two pathogens, including campylobacter, which are growing resistant due to antibiotic overuse in livestock. The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System has been reporting on this problem to try and increase awareness.

A team of interdisciplinary scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Charleston VA Medical Center Research Service investigated the growing body of evidence suggesting a relationship between antibiotic use in agriculture and the ensuing problem of drug resistant food-borne infections in humans. They reviewed 195 articles in the U.S., Canada and Denmark over a five-year period. While no definitive link could be made between antibiotics and drug resistant campylobacter, there were telling signs that antibiotics are causing food-borne pathogens to be more pervasive and dangerous.

For example, there were two incidences where macrolide resistance was observed for campylobacter coli after the bacteria were isolated from the feces of swine that received macrolides in their feed. Similar drug resistance was recorded in the feces of animals treated with tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones. A food-borne outbreak in humans was directly linked back to a tetracycline resistant C. jejuni strain that had formed in raw cow's milk. Drug resistant bacteria were also observed after turkeys were given drinking water dosed with the drug Tylan.

Food-borne pathogens such as campylobacter originate from poorly preserved, improperly prepared, and mishandled meat and other foodstuffs. Improper handling can also cause these food-borne pathogens to cross-contaminate other foods, sickening all who eat them. On top of that, antibiotic overuse is creating the conditions for the pathogens to multiply and persist more than ever, as the bacterium builds increased resistance to the drugs. Pathogens such as campylobacter are more readily contaminating food today, because antibiotic overuse is spurring their rapid bacterial evolution.

As antibiotic overuse and ensuing drug resistant bacteria become more of a problem, consumers must now be wary of raw, healthy foods that humans once tolerated well and had adapted to thrive on. Healthy foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, and raw, unpasteurized cow's milk were once consumed as optimal sources of nutrition, but now the government, including the FDA and USDA, warns that they could be harboring infectious food-borne pathogens such as campylobacter.

Sources include:

PRNewswire.com

TandFOnline.com

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