A new study reveals that antibiotics in chicken could be the cause of bladder infections in women; very painful, enduring, and difficult-to-treat bladder infections.
The study revealed that, says Digital Journal, more that 8 million women are at risk for developing resilient infections because of their handling and consuming chicken that carries antibiotic resistant E. coli infections. The study says that there is a link between the virulent E. coli that leads to urinary tract infections in humans and the E. coli seen in chicken products. In fact, say epidemiologists at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, some eight million women are diagnosed with bladder infections in the United States annually and they may be suffering from antibiotic resistant infections they contract from the chicken they are serving at home.
ABC News’ Good Morning America spoke with Amee Manges, an epidemiologist at McGill University, who said, “We’re finding the same or related E. coli in human infections and in retail meat sources, specifically chicken.” Manges is not alone, many other researchers believe there is a link between human antibiotic resistant infections and the antibiotic-treated poultry purchased in grocery stores, said Digital Journal. Maryn McKenna, reporter for the Food & Environment Reporting Network, told ABC News that, “What this new research shows is, we may, in fact, know where it’s coming from. It may be coming from antibiotics used in agriculture.”
We routinely discuss the dangers of antibiotic misuse and overuse, and how these practices are directly linked to antibiotic resistant diseases that can wreak havoc on the body, as well as the links between treating farm animals with low antibiotic doses and wide-spread drug resistance. We’ve explained that about 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are used in farms; much to increase animal growth and offset filthy living conditions; some antibiotics are combined with animal feed and water so that livestock gain weight and remain fairly healthy while being crammed into stalls. The FDA says it has fought against this issue, but that the agriculture industry says drugs are a necessary component in today’s meat production industry.
Because livestock are treated with very low doses of the potent drugs, diseases are not being treated and bacteria are encouraged to remain, growing more and more resistant. This has enabled, and continues to enable, bacteria to outsmart antibiotics and to survive, thrive, and strengthen so that existing drugs are powerless against their eradication.
The practice followed scientific research that indicated that antibiotics increase animal health, growth, and performance, explained Digital Journal. “We’re particularly interested in chickens. They, in many cases, are getting drugs from the time that they were in an egg all the way up to the time they are slaughtered,” said Manges.
Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and a specialist in so-called “superbugs,” told ABC that, “I think these scientists are right. But I think it’s going to be impossible to prove.” The difficulty is with the way in which these bladder infections develop—slowly and, sometimes, over several months from consumption of contaminated chicken to initial infection signs.
The National Chicken Council disagrees, said Digital Journal.
Meanwhile, as we’ve written, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has sought to limit antibiotics in animals, asking drug companies for assistance by minimizing the long-established practice of dosing farm animals with antibiotics, a practice scientists and other experts blame on the dangerous, and often deadly, incidence of antibiotic resistance. As the FDA previously stated: “Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria or other microbes develop the ability to resist the effects of a drug. Once this occurs, a drug may no longer be as effective in treating various illnesses or infections. Because it is well established that all uses of antimicrobial drugs, in both humans and animals, contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance, it is important to use these drugs only when medically necessary… FDA is taking this action to help preserve the effectiveness of medically important antimicrobials for treating disease in humans.”