May 23, 2013
Advocacy groups, lawmakers call for action on antibiotic-resistant Salmonella
Saying "antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food will make foodborne illness harder to treat," the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and other consumer advocacy groups renewed CSPI's 2011 demand that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) ban meat containing antibiotic-resistant Salmonella. CSPI also published a 22-page report documenting 55 outbreaks from 1973 through 2011 caused by drug-resistant pathogens, and two US congresswomen also called for government action. The report found that 34 of the outbreaks (58%) occurred since 2000, and 56% of the pathogens were resistant to five or more antibiotics. CSPI food safety attorney Sarah Klein said in a May 16 press release, "The evidence is clear that antibiotic-resistant pathogens in food are very dangerous for consumers, and USDA could help solve the problem by making crystal clear that it won't accept these superbugs in meat and poultry." In a press release yesterday, Reps. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., called for stronger government action on the issue. "We have evidence that the practice of overusing antibiotics in food-animals is ruining these drugs' effectiveness, and every day that the government stands idly by, we move closer to the nightmare scenario where routine infections can no longer be cured with antibiotic treatment," Slaughter said in the release. Fourteen consumer advocacy groups supported CSPI in a petition to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on May 16 asking the agency to enact the ban.
May 16 CSPI news release
May 16 CSPI report
May 22 press release from Rep. Slaughter's office
May 16 petition to Sec. Vilsack
Drug-resistant E coli, Klebsiella increase dramatically in Switzerland
Rates of extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant (ESC-R) Enterobacteriaceae in Switzerland more than quadrupled from 2004 to 2011, according to a report today in Eurosurveillance. Swiss researchers analyzed data from a lab-based nationwide surveillance system that included inpatients and outpatients. ESC-R rates rose from 1% to 5.8% in Escherichia coli and from 1.1% to 4.4% in Klebsiella pneumoniae in that span. For ESC-R E coli, the increase was significantly higher in inpatients, patients living in eastern Switzerland, those older than 45 years, and male patients.
May 23 Eurosurveillance report