Results of the nearly $1.4 million three-year study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, are in the November 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Edward Belongia, M.D., Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, Wis., and his colleagues examined poultry exposure as a risk factor for antibiotic resistance in Enterococcus faecium, a gut bacterium that is increasingly the cause of infections in hospitals. The investigation team focused on use of a growth-promoting antibiotic, called virginiamycin, in poultry.
Virginiamycin is closely related to quinupristin-dalfopristin, an antibiotic licensed to treat patients with serious, antibiotic-resistant infections. The drug is prescribed under the brand name Synercid. According to Belongia, "There is a relative lack of data on the impact of antibiotic use in livestock and its relationship to antibiotic resistance in humans, but there is a fair amount of indirect evidence suggesting that antibiotic use could pose a risk to human health."
"We've known for a long time that resistant bacteria can be found on retail poultry products, but our study is one of the first to show an association between human carriage of antibiotic resistance genes and eating poultry or handling raw poultry.
"These results indicate that virginiamycin use in poultry leads to transfer of antibiotic resistance genes to human gut bacteria through the food supply and they provide additional evidence that use of growth promoters in animals may have long-term consequences for human health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can use this information to improve its risk assessment procedures."
The importance of this issue was illustrated by a recent FDA Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee meeting about an application to license a broad spectrum antibiotic, called cefquinome, for use in cattle. Belongia spoke at the hearings, representing the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
"There was a great deal of concern that this antibiotic could promote resistance to cephalosporin drugs that are essential for many patients with serious or life-threatening infections," Belongia said, "and at the end of the day the FDA committee recommended against the drug. Our study focused on a different drug in a different type of animal, but this is a timely example of the controversy regarding the appropriate use of antibiotics in food-producing animals.
"We need to have drugs to treat sick animals," he added, "but we should not be using antibiotics to promote growth."
Working with Belongia, as principal investigator, were members of the Marshfield Enterococcal Study Group - Amy L. Kieke, Ph.D., Mark A. Borchardt, Ph.D., Burney A. Kieke, Susan K. Spencer and Mary F. Vandermause; and Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul, Minnesota - Kirk E. Smith and Selina L. Jawahir. Amy Kieke was the first author on the published paper. Borchardt directed laboratory activities to detect antibiotic resistance and resistance genes. Belongia and colleagues posed the question: Does exposing poultry to virginiamycin lead to Synercid-resistant E. faecium in humans?
They isolated E. faecium in stool samples from 105 newly-hospitalized patients and 65 healthy vegetarians, as well as in 77 samples of conventional retail poultry and 23 antibiotic-free poultry meat samples.
After exposure to virginiamycin, E. faecium from conventional poultry and from patients who consumed poultry became resistant to Synercid more often than E. faecium from vegetarians or from antibiotic-free poultry. Some of the resistance was attributed to a specific gene and both the gene and resistance were associated with touching raw poultry meat and frequent poultry consumption.
Laboratory tests showed the bacteria isolated from patients and vegetarians had no pre-existing resistance to Synercid. Resistance was rare among antibiotic-free poultry but a majority of bacterial isolates from conventional poultry samples were resistant.
Chris Schellpfeffer | EurekAlert!
Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research