Pigs Can Transmit Deadly Superbugs To Humans, Study Reveals | Antibiotics

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Scientists have found evidence that dangerous versions of superbugs can spread from pigs to humans. This discovery highlights fears that the intensive use of antibiotics in animal husbandry could lead to the spread of microbes resistant to them.

The discovery of the link was made by Semeh Bejaoui and Dorte Frees from the University of Copenhagen and Soren Persson from Denmark’s Statens Serum Institute and focuses on the superbug Clostridioides difficileconsidered one of the main global threats related to antibiotic resistance.

“Our finding indicates that it’s hard is a reservoir of antimicrobial resistance genes that can be exchanged between animals and humans,” said Bejaoui, who is due to present his study at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Lisbon on Sunday. “This alarming finding suggests that antibiotic resistance may spread more widely than previously thought, and confirms links in the resistance chain leading from farm animals to humans.”

it’s hard infects the human gut and is resistant to all but three antibiotics used today. Some strains contain genes that allow them to produce toxins that can trigger intestinal inflammation and life-threatening diarrhea in the elderly and hospitalized patients. The bacterium is considered one of the greatest threats of antibiotic resistance in developed countries. In the United States, it caused an estimated 223,900 infections and 12,800 deaths in 2017 and cost the healthcare system over $1 billion.

Doctors and scientists have been warning for years that the over-prescription of antibiotics for mild conditions or infections caused by viruses that do not respond to antibiotics threatens to lead to the spread of resistance to this class of drugs. crucial importance.

Furthermore, they pointed out that the problem is intensified by the widespread use of antibiotics on farms where they are administered to animals – most often pigs and poultry but sometimes also cattle – in order to maintain them in mediocre base where the disease spreads. easily.

There has been a rapid increase in antimicrobial resistance around the world. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

The result has been a rapid rise in antimicrobial resistance across the world. Once-effective antibiotics are now less able to fight common infections, a global health hazard summarized by Margaret Chan, former director-general of the World Health Organization. “Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise in Europe and elsewhere in the world,” she said. “We are losing our first-line antimicrobials. Alternative treatments are more expensive, more toxic, require much longer treatment times, and may require treatment in intensive care units.

It is estimated that around 750,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections and it is feared that by 2050 that number will rise to 10 million and cost global health services more than $100 billion, according to the International Union Against Cancer.

These fears have led to pressure on doctors to reduce the prescription of antibiotics and thus slow the rise of antimicrobial resistance. However, medical authorities have pointed out that two-thirds of antibiotics are not used on humans at all but are given as agricultural additives. This is done to prevent disease and infection in animals that are kept in conditions that would otherwise cause disease.

In their research, the team led by Bejaoui focused on studying the prevalence of it’s hard in farm animals. In this case, pigs were studied and the results were compared with clinical isolates from hospitalized patients in Denmark to see if there was a match in humans. The samples were tested for the presence of it’s hard and genetic sequencing was used to determine if they harbored toxin and drug resistance genes.

“We found that the strains isolated from pigs were genetically identical to those found in humans during the same period,” Bejaoui said. “We have yet to show that the strains have been passed from pigs to humans, but what our study clearly shows is that farms that use antibiotics create conditions that allow resistant strains to thrive and eventually infect pigs. humans.

“The large pool of genes conferring resistance to aminoglycosides, a class of antibiotics to which it’s hard is inherently resilient. It thus plays a role in the dissemination of these genes to other susceptible species. This study provides more evidence on the evolutionary pressure related to the use of antimicrobials in animal husbandry, which selects for dangerously resistant human pathogens.

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