Farm Animals Are Now Resistant to a Last-Resort Antibiotic

Source: Time

BY Alexandra Sifferlin

Superbugs continue to spread

Drug resistance is a growing global health problem; experts estimate that in 2050, 10 million people will die from infections that are resistant to antibiotics each year. The use of antibiotics in livestock animals contributes to the problem, as does the inappropriate—but common—overprescribing of antibiotics.

A new study, published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, added to the concern when researchers identified resistance in farm animals to a certain kind of antibiotic called carbapenem. Carbapenem drugs, last-line medications that treat severe infections, are not supposed to be used in agriculture due to their importance as a treatment for people.

Thomas Wittum, chair of veterinary preventive medicine at Ohio State University, and his co-authors swabbed floors and walls from a pig farm over five months, collecting environment and fecal samples. They then found the carbapenem-resistant bacteria growing in their petri dishes.

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