Tuesday December 11, 2018

Even Low Levels of Antibiotics in Chicken can Cause Bacterial Resistance

The findings could help explain why antibiotic resistant infections have been found in patients who undergo medicinal leech therapy

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They found that low levels of antibiotics in the animal's environment improved the survival of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in its gut. Pixabay
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Even negligible levels of antibiotics in chicken blood can cause bacterial resistance and sicken people with hard-to-treat infections, suggests new research based on a study of antibiotic resistance in leech’s gut.

Microbiologists have long known that the overuse of antibiotics in people and animals leads to antibiotic resistance or the proliferation of germs that do not respond to usual treatments.

Antibiotic resistance can develop in the environment, too, as hospitals and pharmaceutical companies create favorable conditions for resistance by discharging large quantities of medications.

But what concentration of antibiotic exposures boost the growth of resistant microbes in the wild? The new study, published in the journal mBio, suggests the threshold is low.

The researchers found resistant bacteria thriving in leeches exposed to less than four-hundredths of a milligram, per millilitre, of ciprofloxacin, an important antibiotic, in the environment.

Chicken
Microbiologists have long known that the overuse of antibiotics in people and animals leads to antibiotic resistance or the proliferation of germs that do not respond to usual treatments. Pixabay

That level represents less than one per cent of the “clinical resistance breakpoint,” or concentration in the gut that selects for resistance.

For the study, the international team of researchers took a deep dive into the microbiome of blood-sucking medicinal leeches.

They found that low levels of antibiotics in the animal’s environment improved the survival of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in its gut.

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Those resistant bacteria, in turn, displaced healthy bacteria.

The findings could help explain why antibiotic resistant infections have been found in patients who undergo medicinal leech therapy.

In addition, “it suggests that contamination with very low levels of antibiotics in other environments can lead to the increase in resistant bacteria,” said microbiologist Joerg Graf at the University of Connecticut in the US who led the study. (IANS)

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Feeding Probiotics to Infants Daily May Reduce Antibiotic Prescription in Future

For the study, the team pooled data from twelve studies together. The probiotics used in the reviewed studies were strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium

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Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured residents in the country.

Feeding probiotics to infants and children daily may significantly stave off the need for antibiotic treatment, a finding that may help address the global rise in drug-resistant infections, said researchers.

The study found that infants and children were 29 per cent less likely to have been prescribed antibiotics if they received probiotics as a daily health supplement.

The results, published in the European Journal of Public Health, are very intriguing, the researchers said.

“Given this finding, potentially one way to reduce the use of antibiotics is to use probiotics on a regular basis,” said Daniel Merenstein, professor at Georgetown University.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic resistance occurred among 500,000 people with suspected bacterial infections across 22 countries.

Reducing the use of antibiotics is one strategy in combating resistance.

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Say no to your kids for junk food, instead add healthy snacks. Pixabay

“We already have evidence that consuming probiotics reduces the incidence, duration, and severity of certain types of common acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infections,” Merenstein said.

However, it is not clear how probiotics help fight infections.

Merenstein said: “There are many potential mechanisms, such as probiotic production of pathogen inhibitors, immune regulation, among others.

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“We don’t know all the mechanisms probiotic strains may leverage. But since most of the human immune system is found in the gastrointestinal tract, ingesting healthy bacteria may competitively exclude bacterial pathogens linked to gut infections and may prime the immune system to fight others,” he explained.

For the study, the team pooled data from twelve studies together. The probiotics used in the reviewed studies were strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. (IANS)