New Study Shows Antibiotics in Livestock are a Threat to Human Health

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 10048

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 10048 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new study published in the EMBO Molecular Medicine journal takes an in depth look at the connection between the effects of MRSA in both livestock and humans. The details can be found in their study here: EMBO Molecular Medicine Journal

The cliff notes version is that due to the raised use in antibiotics for livestock, diseases like MRSA can spread from animal to human.

The question is what do we do with this information.  Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), who holds degrees in public health and microbiology, says “This study ends any debate. The extreme overuse of antibiotics in livestock is endangering human health.” The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to state that one of their top priorities is to control diseases like MRSA from spreading.

Perhaps it is worth taking a step back and continues to educate the general public about prevention and how the strains are mutating and spreading. Infection rates have nearly doubled in the last five years in hospital based strains. Check our blog post about our thoughts on that here: Blog

It should be noted that Rep. Slaughter has reintroduced the “Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act”  for the forth time in hopes that this new information will give the bill the traction it needs.

Rep. Slaughter states “Since 1977, when the FDA acknowledged the threat of antibiotic-resistant disease and called for a reduction in the use of antibiotics in animals, we have been waiting for meaningful action to protect public health,” Slaughter said in a press release. “Instead, we’ve gotten delays and half measures, and as a result, even common illnesses like strep throat could soon prove fatal. I’ve introduced this legislation because Congress must act immediately to protect the public health.”

What are your thoughts on the use of antibiotics in livestock? Do you think that limiting human exposure to antibiotics for routine infections (common cold) will help MRSA from adapting and spreading?

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