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

Down to Earth - - COVER STORY - See com­plete study and re­lated doc­u­ments at www.down­toearth.org.in

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.

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