Antibiotic Use In Animal Feed Increasing Drug-Resistant Bacteria Worldwide

Posted: Apr 15 2016, 5:48am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Antibiotic Use in Animal Feed Increasing Drug-Resistant Bacteria Worldwide
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  • Genes of Animals becoming Resistant to Antibiotics on a Global Level

The genes of farm animals are becoming resistant to antibiotics on a global level. This could prove to be quite problematic.

While antibiotics are being used worldwide, resistance to them is also developing apace. Also research into finding new antibiotics has been postponed indefinitely. It seems things have reached a deadlock of sorts.

The study was published in a journal. Animals are fed fodder that is laced with antibiotics to prevent disease and increase growth. This is especially so in case of swine on farms. However, many bacteria multiply in such cases. 

Swine farms in China were the target of the study. Also pigs in the USA were the object of research. Resistant genes were found in both cases. When one set of genes multiplied or decreased, another set followed suit.

This antibiotic resistance has become virtually endemic. Many disinfectants end up increasing the populations of harmful bacteria which have simply become immune to the deleterious effects of the antibiotics in them.

Research into the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance is a difficult proposal. It requires intense efforts and in-depth inquiry which is not exactly a bed of roses for the experts.  

The swine farms in China lie close-by to urban centers. Therefore controlling bacteria is an important factor there. Nobody wants the bacteria to hitchhike into human territory.

Finding these antibiotic-immune bacteria is a $20 million deal. The fight has gone global by now. The problem is not confined to China or the United States alone.

The partner genes in farm animals can make bacteria resistant to antibiotics. In the Chinese farms, over 14 different genes were distributed in swine farms that were many miles apart from each other. These genes offered resistance to 6 different antibiotics at one and the same time.   

In case of Chinese soil, the same resistant genes were found in the manure and fertilizer that was unloaded on the ground. Yet the bacteria in the soil were very different.

Thus resistant genes were transferred between a variety of bacteria with ease. All these genes may have originated from the same source.

New and more constructive policies as well as rules and regulations will have to be implemented if we are to conquer this scourge. It won’t go away on its own. In fact, the bacteria will become antibiotic-resistant till the point where they are next to invincible.  

The findings of this study were published recently in the journal mBio.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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