Smart moves of a deadly microbe
As a microbe becomes resistant, it influences other microbes present in the gut of the chicken and then those in the environment, making them resistant to a wide range of antibiotics
quinolones. “We are receiving reports of multi-drugresistant TB (mdr-tb) and extreme-drug-resistant TB (xdr-tb),”he adds.
Replying to a question in Parliament recently, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said that the number of mdr-tb cases in the country has increased five times to 23,325 between 2011 and 2013.
“Almost one-third of all mdr-tb cases are resistant to fluoroquinolone, which forms the backbone of mdr-tb treatment,” says Anuj Bhatnagar, doctor at Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis, Delhi. “These patients are just one step short of xdr-tb,at which the options of treatment are seriously limited.”
cse study found two fluoroquinolone antibiotics— enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin—in 28.6 per cent chicken samples tested.
“This is just a tip of the iceberg,”say cse researchers. “We have tested chicken samples only for six widely-used antibiotics in the country.There are many more antibiotics that are routinely used in poultry.”
For example, Skylark Hatcheries, an integrated poultry company in Jind, Haryana, uses Enramycin. Venky’s uses bacitracin in its feed Bamylate, while Vetline India uses furazolidone antibiotic in its feed Furavet. Some European countries ban the use of bacitracin and furazolidone as growth promoters. Antibiotics from classes of cephalosporins, penicillins and macrolides are also among the most popular antibiotics used in poultry farms in India. who classifies these antibiotics as critical for human use.