Eat­ing chicken can make you a sit­ting duck for su­per­bugs

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - PTI

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.

PHOTO:SHUTTERSTOCK

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