Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | March 23, 2009

Kentucky environmental lawyer Sanders says researchers find houseflys from poultry houses contaminated with drug resistant bacteria and may pose disease vector to humans.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University found evidence that houseflies collected near broiler poultry operations may contribute to the dispersion of drug-resistant bacteria and thus increase the potential for human exposure to drug-resistant bacteria. This finding is not good news for people living around such poultry operation, who might become infected by drug-resistant bacteria.

The findings demonstrate another potential link between industrial food animal production and exposures to antibiotic resistant pathogens. Previous studies have linked antibiotic use in poultry production to antibiotic resistant bacteria in farm workers, consumer poultry products and the environment surrounding confined poultry operations, as well as releases from poultry transport.

The researchers collected flies and samples of poultry litter from poultry houses along a coastal region shared by Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, which has one of the highest densities of broiler chickens per acre in the United States. The analysis by the research team isolated antibiotic-resistant bacteria from both flies and litter. The bacteria isolated from flies had very similar resistance characteristics and resistance genes to bacteria found in the poultry litter.

Hello Washington? We have a potential problem here that needs some attention from the folks at FDA and Department of Agriculture.

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