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Animal antibiotics leading to resistant urinary tract infections

Published on 20/05/2010
Overuse of antibiotics in the farming industry may be leading to urinary tract infections (UTIs) in humans that are resistant to medication.

Scientists from the University of Hong Kong found evidence to suggest genes that govern resistance to certain antibiotics are being passed from animals to humans via the food chain.

Published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, the study looked at cases of E. coli bacteria infection, which is responsible for the majority of UTIs.

Examining human and animal samples, they discovered that a certain gene, called aacC2, was present in the bacteria from both.

This gene, which was found in 80 per cent of cases, governs resistance to the commonly-used antibiotic gentamicin.

The researchers say this suggests the bacteria has managed to migrate from animals to people.

Dr Pak-Leung Ho, who led the study, said: "These resistance genes may possibly spread to the human gut via the food chain, through direct contact with animals or by exposure to contaminated water sources."

Women are much more susceptible to UTIs than men and it is estimated that one in three females will suffer from such an infection before the age of 24.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
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