Study finds resistant E coli common in UK poultry, pork samples
A new study out of England has found antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli bacteria in nearly a quarter of pig and poultry meat samples purchased at UK supermarkets.
The study, which was commissioned by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics and conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge, analyzed 189 UK-origin pork and poultry samples bought at seven of the UK's largest supermarkets.
In their analysis, the researchers found that 24% of the chicken samples tested positive for extended spectrum beta-lactamase E coli, which are resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics. Cephalosporins are commonly used in the treatment of E coli infections in the urinary tract and the bloodstream.
The researchers also found that 51% of the E coli found in the pork and poultry samples were resistant to trimethoprim, which is commonly used to treat lower urinary tract infections, while 19% showed resistance to gentamicin, an antibiotic used in upper respiratory tract infections. No resistance to fluoroquinolones or colistin was found in any of the E coli isolates.
The authors of the study said it's the first comprehensive study of the levels of antibiotic resistance in E coli found in UK supermarket meat, and that the findings suggest some of the resistance to key antibiotics in human E coli infections is coming from farm animals. Trimethoprin is commonly used to mass medicate farm animals via feed and water. Cephalosprins and gentamicin, while not licensed for use in farm animals in the United Kingdom, are commonly used off-label to treat animal infections when no suitable antibiotics are available.
Sep 5 Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics/Cambridge University study
WHO: Asian nations see drop in malaria, but artemisinin resistance a concern
A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the six countries of the Greater Mekong subregion—China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand—cut their malaria incidence by 54%, and saw an 84% drop in malaria deaths, from 2012 to 2015.
Myanmar achieved the greatest reduction (62%) in malaria cases, followed by Vietnam (52%). Significant declines were also recorded in Thailand (24%) and Cambodia (18%), while Laos and China's Yunnan Province saw spikes in cases and deaths.
The WHO attributes the declines to the targeted provision of core malaria tools to those populations that are most at risk for the disease. Those tools include long-lasting insecticide treated nets, rapid diagnostic tests, and artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs).
The good news comes despite the development and spread of resistance to artemisinin, the core compound of the best available antimalarial medicines. The WHO report say that artemisinin resistance in the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, which accounts for most malaria cases and deaths, has now been detected in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
As a result of this increasing resistance, the agency says it's focusing on protecting ACTs as the front-line treatment for P falciparum malaria. One of the ways countries can do this is by phasing out the use of artemisinin-based monotherapies, the WHO says.
In addition, the report says that affected countries are shifting their malaria strategy from containment to elimination.
In related news, the WHO's South-East Asia Regional Office (WHO SEARO) yesterday declared that Sri Lanka has been certified by the WHO as free of malaria.
September 2016 WHO Bulletin: "WHO's emergency response to artemisinin resistance"
Sep 5 WHO SEARO statement
Study notes high rates of ESBL E coli on Chinese swine farms
More than half of farm pigs and one in five workers on those farms harbor extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)–producing Escherichia coli, according to a small study in the Journal of Food Protection.
Researchers obtained rectal swabs from 60 pigs on four pig-fattening farms in Shandong province in eastern China and from 40 workers on the farms. The same number of animal and human samples was taken on each farm. They then characterized ESBL-carrying E coli isolates by genotype, antibiotic susceptibility, and other factors.
The investigators found that 34 of 60 pigs (56.7%) and 8 of 40 farm workers (20%) tested positive for ESBL-producing E coli. And the swine isolates had the same genotypes, antibiotic resistance profiles, and other factors as the human isolates.
They concluded, "These findings were suggestive for transfer of ESBL-producing E. coli between animals and humans."
September J Food Prot abstract