Thursday, February 23, 2012

Study Traces MRSA to Factory-farmed Pigs

If you think that your health is unaffected by the treatment of factory-farmed animals, think again.

A new scientific study finds that MRSA - antibiotic-resistant superstaph - may have originated in factory-farmed pigs.
"Our findings underscore the potential public health risks of widespread antibiotic use in food animal production," Price said in a statement. "Staph thrives in crowded and unsanitary conditions. Add antibiotics to that environment and you're going to create a public health problem."

The CC398 strain, as it's known first appeared in cattle, pig, and poultry populations around 2003. The study argues that the mixture of growth hormones, antibiotics, and other medications employed to increase production and make the animals more suitable for the crowded conditions industrial food production requires are to blame for creating an ideal setting for the bacteria to gain resistance. "The most powerful force in evolution is selection. And in this case, humans have supplied a strong force through the excessive use of antibiotic drugs in farm animal production," said Paul Keim, a co-author on the study. [PopScience - Inside NAU - mBio]

If you think that your health is unaffected by the treatment of factory-farmed animals, think again.
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