Study: infections linked to chicken superbug

July 11, 2012 7:36:33 PM PDT
For the 8 million women who get repeated bladder infections, medical researchers have found what could be causing the problem.

They say antibiotic-resistant bacteria is being transmitted from chickens to humans.

The results came in a joint investigation by ABC News and the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

Amee Manges, an epidemiologist at McGill University, says, "We're finding the same or related E.coli in human infections and in retail meat sources, specifically, chicken."

If researchers are right, it could be the first proven link between the antibiotics fed to farm animals and hard-to-cure diseases in humans.

The chicken industry says there could be other factors, such as the overuse of antibiotics in humans.

And they say this study doesn't prove that a superbug from poultry transfers directly to humans.

The FDA says 80 per cent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are fed to livestock. Even healthy chickens get them to protect them from disease in cramped quarters andto help them grow bigger, faster.

"We're particularly interested in chickens. They, in many cases, are getting drugs from the time that they were in an egg," says Manges.

This affects a lot of women, so we will follow this research.


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