Friday August 17, 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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Antibiotics Most Frequently Prescribed Medicine Worldwide

Considering most countries have laws prohibiting over-the-counter sales of antibiotics, there is a need to ensure such laws are more strictly enforced where appropriate

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The study found that between 2000 and 2010, the consumption of antibiotics increased globally from 50 billion to 70 billion standard units.
The study found that between 2000 and 2010, the consumption of antibiotics increased globally from 50 billion to 70 billion standard units. (IANS)

The increased over-the-counter supply of antibiotics in many countries including India, is worsening antibiotic resistance globally, finds a study highlighting an urgent need for better enforcement of laws.

The study found that between 2000 and 2010, the consumption of antibiotics increased globally from 50 billion to 70 billion standard units.

A majority of overall increase occurred in India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

“This overuse of antibiotics could facilitate the development and spread of antibiotic resistance. In India, for example, about 57,000 neonatal sepsis deaths occurring annually are due to antibiotic-resistant infections,” said Emmanuel Adewuyi, from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

It accounts for more than two million infections and 23,000 deaths annually in the US, and around 25,000 deaths in Europe each year.

A majority of overall increase occurred in India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
A majority of overall increase occurred in India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa. (IANS)

“Reliable estimates of the burden of antibiotic-resistant infections in developing countries are lacking but it is believed to cause many more deaths in these countries,” Adewuyi added.

For the study, published in The Journal of Infection, the team analysed studies from 24 countries.

The study found that antibiotics supplied without prescription were largely for the treatment of acute and self-limited conditions such as upper respiratory tract infections and gastroenteritis.

Also Read: Oral Antibiotics Possess Threat of Kidney Stones

“Many were also broad-spectrum antibiotics like amoxicillin, azithromycin and others which increase the risk of development of difficult-to-treat infections like the deadly methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” Adewuyi said.

“Such practice not only predisposes patients to inappropriate drug and dose choices, it portends great risks for the development and spread of resistant organisms, masking of diagnosis as well as delayed hospital admissions,” said Asa Auta from the University of Central Lancashire in Britain.

“Considering most countries have laws prohibiting over-the-counter sales of antibiotics, there is a need to ensure such laws are more strictly enforced where appropriate,” Adewuyi noted. (IANS)