Production method influences bacteria's antibiotic resistance
US researchers have found that the prevalence of antibiotic resistant
bacteria in poultry is significantly affected by whether the rearing method used
is organic or conventional.
Campylobacter is a leading cause of food-borne illness,
linked to the ingestion of contaminated foods including undercooked poultry, or
other foods cross contaminated with raw poultry meat. Researchers have
discovered that the Campylobacter species are becoming more resistance to
antimicrobials because of the widespread use of these substances in humans and
Researchers compared Campylobacter from the intestinal
tracts of poultry from conventional farms (where antibiotics were used
regularly) and organic farms (where antibiotics had never been used).
Researchers found that the Campylobacter from the poultry from organic farms had
less than 2% resistance to antibiotics, while the bacteria from the poultry in
conventional farms had 46-67% resistance.
"This study revealed
significant differences in antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter isolates between
conventional poultry operations and organic poultry operations," say the
researchers. "These results suggest that the practice of antibiotic usage in
conventional poultry production systems influence the prevalence of
antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter organisms in conventionally raised broilers
These findings appear in the
May 2006 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
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