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An article in the Environmental Health Perspectives says that antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be attained from a variety of sources such as from breathing air in concentrated swine feeding facilities or ingesting soil or surface and ground water near the facility. It can also be obtained from eating retail pork products. Low dose antibiotics are given to swing to improve growth and feed efficiency but consumption of the swine meat leads to transfer of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The study found that the drug-resistant bacteria found in the air in the facility included enterococcus, coagulase negative staphylocvocvi and viridans group streptococci which can cause infections in humans. The majority of the airborne samples were resistant to at least two common antibiotics such as erythromycin, clindamycin, virginiamycin and tetracycline. None of the samples were resistant to vancomycin which has never been used in swine production. Workers at the facilities could become exposed to the resistant bacteria and may then spread them to other people.
About: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria prevalent in air in concentrated swine feeding facilities
Date: 4 December 2004
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