Eating chicken can make you a sitting duck for superbugs
Love for chicken delicacies — be it butter chicken or fried — may involve a health risk for not only Indians but the entire world, a new study warns. According to the Indo-American study, Punjab, famous for its large and crowded poultry farms, may be sprouting ‘superbugs’ (bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics).
The study reports a high prevalence of antibioticresistant bacteria detected in poultry farms in Punjab and warns of potentially disastrous consequences to human health due to the use of growth-promoting antibiotics in animal farming.
The study, led by researchers from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP), Washington DC, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, finds high levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in chickens raised for both meat and eggs on farms in Punjab.
“Overuse of antibiotics in animal farms endangers us all, as it multiplies drug resistance in the environment,” said study author and CDDEP Director Ramanan Laxminarayan.
According to the WHO, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. AMR is a serious threat to global public health.
A study done by doctors at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, found that due to the rampant misuse of antibiotics, even new-born children are getting infected. Specialists at AIIMS say it is scary that antibiotics are being blunted by the abuse, misuse and over use even as the pipeline for the discovery of new antibiotics is almost frozen with no new ones on the horizon.
The Punjab poultry farm survey, conducted between the past year and this year, is the largest study of its kind in India. It looked at sources of AMR (antimicrobial resistance). Researchers collected more than 1,500 samples from 530 birds on 18 poultry farms in six districts in Punjab and tested them for resistance to a range of antibiotics critical to human medicine. Two-thirds of the farms reported using antibiotics for the birds’ growth promotion.
IN A NEW STUDY, SAMPLES FROM HUNDREDS OF BIRDS, FROM 18 POULTRY FARMS ACROSS PUNJAB, WERE TESTED. HIGH LEVELS OF ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT BACTERIA WERE FOUND IN THE CHICKENS.