The growing appetite for animal protein in developing countries has resulted in a smorgasbord of antibiotic consumption for livestock that has nearly tripled the occurrence of antibiotic resistance in disease-causing bacteria easily transmitted from animals to humans, according to a recent report in the journal Science.
Researchers from ETH Zurich, the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), and the Free University of Brussels gathered nearly 1,000 publications and unpublished veterinary reports from around the world to create a map of antimicrobial resistance in low- to middle-income countries. They focused on the bacteria Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus, all of which cause serious disease in animals and humans.
Between 2000 and 2018, the proportion of antibiotics showing rates of resistance above 50% in developing countries increased in chickens from 0.15 to 0.41 and in pigs from 0.13 to 0.34, the researchers reported. This means that antibiotics that could be used for treatment failed more than half the time in 40 percent of chickens and one-third of pigs raised for human consumption.
Read more at the Princeton Environmental Institute
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