Friday, November 9, 2012

Yet Another Setback for Antibiotic Opponents

HOTH readers already know that numerous studies have shown the risk to human health from using antibiotics in livestock is negligible.

For others, a new study from North Carolina State University may be enlightening. It suggests that antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in pigs can thrive in the environment, regardless of antibiotic use by producers.

The study looked at Campylobacter coli—a cause of food poisoning—in both conventionally raised pigs and those raised without antibiotics over several years. It found identical strains of the bacteria in both groups.

Concluded study author Siddhartha Thakur: "If the environment itself, and not the pig, is serving as a reservoir for C. coli, then we will most probably continue to find resistant bacterial populations, regardless of a producer's antimicrobial use."

Thakur's findings appear online in PLoS One and are summarized on EurekAlert!

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