ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE: A HEALTH CRISIS


The introduction of antibiotics in animal
feed has contributed exponentially to the antibiotic resistance crisis in the
world today. The FDA has recognized these conditions
are a cause of antibiotic resistance in humans yet have
done little to address the problem. Every year antibiotic resistant bacteria
affects at least two million people killing more than 23,000 of those. It is now
becoming increasingly difficult to treat this kind of bacteria due to their developed resistance to
antibiotics. In 1928 Alexander Fleming discovered the first
antibiotic, penicillin. This was a revolutionary discovery at
time because infections were no longer life threatening and could be prevented with antibiotics. However, we were warned the more antibiotics we used the less effective they would become. Today
there are a number of factors contributing to the declining
effectiveness of antibiotics. The food industry is a
leading cause an antibiotic resistant bacteria because resistant genes are developing
in animal bacteria that get transferred to humans due to improper handling
procedures. When they have been butchered or been handled they were not handled correctly then they carry the animal bacteria with them and if you are sort of have a cut when you are handling, you’re not handling right or you have cut or abrasive on
your skin that you might pick up the bacteria infection from the food
source that you were normally okay with it, and but the
problem with that is then this bacteria from the animal
food source is they already carry the
resistant markers, so then you kind of can’t really treat the human infection with
the same antibiotic. We spoke with environmental science
teacher Laura Dinerman about what the government could do to
step in on the problem. Well one of the I would like to see their removal of
antibiotics from the food from the food system, food production
system. What we’re seeing right now is a good
80% of antibiotics are actually going into food
production. The FDA has recently antibiotics that promote animal growth
from animal feed the new plan may not be effective in
significantly reducing the effects of antibiotic resistance because it’s
voluntary for pharmaceutical companies to implement. They need to be required to be more forthcoming with information, you can
collect data on that kind of thing, you can find out which animals
specifically are sick, you can require that to be reported
before antibiotics are given and you can require that the industry get prescriptions for
those medications for sick animals rather than just making the whole thing
voluntary. In 2010 the House Commerce Subcommittee
on Health held a hearing on the threat anti-microbial resistance. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci was questioned by
Rep. John Dingell on whether or not antibiotics in animal
feed that isn’t regulated poses a threat to our health. Well here’s the purpose of my question,
If we’re putting too much in the animal feed not using it wisely and don’t have any
particular constraints on its use we’re obviously increasing a risk if a
risk there is, is that right? Clearly the answer to that is yes. So if Congress doesn’t act what kind of
impacts are we looking at? We’re looking at We’re looking at and antibiotic-resistant drugs greater number disease, people dying from
things that they don’t need to die from,
childbirth. Infections that in the past
historically my lifetime would have been minor. Normally when you
get a cut you don’t really go to the cut and you need a suture to sew it back but then when infections started you’re
probably not too concerned about it until much later on then you can’t stop the infection, then you go to
a doctor and by the time I would say yeah a week to two weeks, that’s
the timeline then the doctor would say we have to cut off because can’t, we can’t prevent the bacteria from entering your bloodstream. Once the bacteria is out there how is it spreading so quickly? Okay so not as restricted as before, so you
can the air travel goes from back and fourth so it’s actually more easily from people who travel to
the United States even though they’re healthy, there’s some
commensal bacteria come travel with them and they also carry
the antibiotic-resistant marker here, and they could you know just leave that behind. Major companies are
moving away from developing new we will be on the verge of a major health
crisis unless the FDA develops new guidelines that encourages these
companies to continue their antibiotics research and
take other courses of action to prevent what could possibly be the
beginning a nightmare.

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