Antibiotic Use in Chickens: Responsible for Hundreds of Human Deaths?

argylesock says… Here’s debate about whether antibiotic use in poultry farming leads to human deaths from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Not everybody agrees about this. At the end of this article you can follow a link to opinion from the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) where we’re urged not to jump to conclusions.

Paper to Use

In the long back and forth between science and agriculture over the source of antibiotic resistance in humans — Due to antibiotic overuse on farms, or in human medicine? — one question has been stubbornly hard to answer. If antibiotic-resistant bacteria do arise on farms, do they leave the farm and circulate in the wider world? And if they do, how much damage do they do?

A multi-national team of researchers recently published their answers to both questions. Their answer: In Europe, 1,518 deaths and 67,236 days in the hospital, every year, which would not otherwise have occurred.

Their argument (in the open-access journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), builds on two earlier papers, both published in 2011. One estimated the additional deaths and hospital days incurred in Europe because of infections with drug-resistant staph and E. coli, without exploring the source…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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