- Picture: snowpea & bokchoi - It is estimated that in Europe some 25,000 infections occur each year with bacteria resistant to antibiotics . According to data compiled by the European Network for Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance, based in Sweden, cephalosporin resistance has increased from 0.1% in 2000 to 4.3% in 2009 (according to a study of E.coli in Dutch patients). Thus, the Agency for Health Protection in the UK, warned last year about the growth in this country of infections caused by strains of E. coli resistant to antibiotics as an emerging health risk to double its incidence in the period 1994-2004. A major health problem that has never been left out but again takes center stage following a recent German study reported that more than half of the chicken samples analyzed in Germany have bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
But worry not only in Europe. Also the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of USA is alarmed by the growing threat from resistant organisms, so it has limited the use of certain antibiotics in cattle, pigs and poultry. According to some sources, up to 80% of antibiotics used in this country are fed to healthy farm animals. The new ban, which would take effect in April 2012 and would apply to cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys, has among its objectives to reduce the risk of resistance to cephalosporin and limit their use. According to experts endorse this country, this will help prevent the development of bacterial resistance to this class of drugs.
Cephalosporins are a widely used class of antibiotics and vital in treatment of a wide variety of infections in humans. Widespread use in livestock is carried out in order to prevent certain infections that may in turn slow the growth of animals since they combat energy costs, so additives are used as growth. However, the use of these antibiotics also leads to the emergence of resistant bacteria strains to antibiotics. Therefore, and according to these U.S. experts, the FDA decision is very wise, and help prevent the emergence of bacterial resistance and thus ensure that this class of antibiotics is effective in treating human infections.
"Superbugs" in German chickens
A sampling carried out by a German organization in supermarkets and shops of five major towns in this country (Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Nuremberg and Stuttgart region) shows the negative consequences of continued abuse of antibiotics and mass rearing of animals and industrial that causes bacterial resistance to the detriment of the health of consumers. According to these same sources, involves intensive poultry rearing have a growing number of animals in too small a space, which is only possible if you use large amounts of antibiotics.
However, this report is, to many, including their own authors acknowledge this, unrepresentative of the actual situation in Germany and other EU countries, so it should not be alarmist. The lack of scientific and statistical criteria, given the small number of samples analyzed, was the argument made by some sectors linked, supporting good practice in the intensive rearing of poultry in this country. However, the German authorities have already revealed its intention to conduct further study on the subject and take relevant measures.
The "superbugs" are able to break the molecules of certain antibiotics on and off
The aim would be to reduce the risks associated with the intensive rearing of poultry and the possible use of medications such as antibiotics and minimize their use. According to the environmental organization that conducted the study, in Germany employ about 785 tons a year of antibiotics in animal husbandry and breeding of farm animals. The German Ministry of Agriculture intends to present this week a bill to amend the law regulating the use of drugs for the purpose of the federal states have a better chance to control the use of antibiotics.
Resistant bacteria found in samples of chicken meat, colloquially called "superbugs" in nature invulnerable, were E.coli enzyme producing ESBL (Extended Spectrum Beta-lactamase) capable of breaking the molecules of certain antibiotics such as cephalosporins and penicillins turning them off , and Staphylococcus aureus resistant to methicillin, MRSA (Methicillin-resistant S. aureus ). Two bacteria that could develop an infection in humans and constitute a high potential health risk to the consumer. Be transmitted to people, their status as resistant to certain antibiotics, treatment and disposal difficult and dangerous would risk groups such as children, elderly or chronically ill.
Keep in mind that chicken meat is consumed cooked under intense heat that ensure their sanitation, ie, elimination of the food of these superbugs resistant to antibiotics but not to extreme heat. Hence the importance of thoroughly cooking the product and ensure safe temperatures inside. The real risk would be at an alleged cross-contamination with other foods eaten raw, either through direct contact or through the manipulator's own hands or kitchen tools such as knives, cutting boards and even rags.
It so happens that the International Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recently warned of the risk that the misuse of antibiotics in animals may support the growth of bacteria resistant to them and announced that this will be one of their challenges to by 2012. The organization revealed that a hundred countries in the world do not have the proper regulations on the use of antibiotics in animals, adding that antibiotics are a treasure to be preserved. Its use is, according to these experts, essential to animal production sufficient to feed the human population, while an inappropriate use in some countries favor the emergence of resistant bacteria, a result which also occurs in humans.
Those responsible for the OIE noted that, for now, has not established the transfer of resistant bacteria from animals to humans, but it is an eventuality that can not be ruled out. Incidence due to the current globalization be very dangerous, even in the event of a remote location. Thus, awareness of proper use of antibiotics must be collective. In addition to this cultural aspect to be ensured to prevent fraud and proliferation of counterfeit veterinary product sales, common practice in some developing countries, where effective doses do not correspond to those indicated in the prospectus, which increases the risk of resistant bacteria. To this must be added the increase in the sale of antibiotics over the Internet, where control of the authorities is more complicated.