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Medicine Science

Seagulls Spreading Resistant Bacteria On Beaches 94

bs0d3 writes "Dr. Patrice Nordmann has disclosed the results of a small study that looked for resistant bacteria in seagull poop landing on Miami Beach in Florida. During April 2010, they collected 52 stool samples and found within them 83 isolates of gut bacteria such as E. coli. Wired's Maryn McKenna writes, 'Seven of the E. coli carried genes that direct production of CTX-M enzymes, a troublesome resistance factor that protects bacteria from the very broad category of drugs called extended-spectrum beta-lactams and that has recently spread worldwide. In addition, 14 of the E. coli were also carrying the gene for the CMY-2 enzyme, which confers the same ESBL resistance on Salmonella. Nine of the isolates were multi-drug resistant.' This has led some scientists to the conclusion that this is one avenue these bacterias are taking in human infections worldwide. The resistance factors identified in the seagull feces match ones that cause highly resistant infections in humans, and correlate with data collected on beaches in Portugal, Sweden, and France."
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Seagulls Spreading Resistant Bacteria On Beaches

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  • by smpoole7 ( 1467717 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @12:12AM (#37437824) Homepage

    The point, as someone else has mentioned here, is that these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. Given that we don't normally treat wild birds with antibiotics, this is actually kind of troublesome.

    This is probably due to the widespread prophylactic use of antibiotics in the feed given to farm animals, a practice that needs to be stopped (or at least sharply curtailed). Some antibiotics should be reserved only for use in humans, and then limited to cases where other antibiotics have proven ineffective.

    The problem is that the drug companies make so much money off of selling the antibiotics to the feed suppliers, they're not exactly eager to stop doing it. So every time they develop a new "miracle" antibiotic, at the same time that your doctor is prescribing it for an ear infection, a lot full or cows, chickens or pigs somewhere a few miles away is also eating that antibiotic in its feed.

  • Re:hairless apes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Monday September 19, 2011 @01:07AM (#37438006) Journal

    Dude get a clue, hell, rent one, they're cheap, its the 21rst century... I figure kindergarteners have heard about space-time, if that's your signal for condescending you seriously need to consider a few night courses. The ideas proffered have been common conversations for magazines and science programs from PBS to the Discovery Channel (you do know how to read... yes?) If this is what passes for pedantic in your eyes, then I'm afraid it says a lot more about you than it does about me. As for being a charlatan, for the love o' Jebus go Google something (anything) before venting such profound ignorance.

    I'm sorry you missed the point of what I was saying, that human beings and seagulls both belong. That the problem isn't seagulls and never has been. That all life can and should be respected and that people need to take responsibility for the stupid, shitty, shoddy crap they inflict on the planet and one another. If I wasn't laughing it was because this is one of the biggest threats we'll face this century. Diseases that we made indestructible because some idiot thought it might increase the yield of his cattle herd by 0.04%. Please, feel free, I'd love to hear a good resistant infection joke. Heard the one about the guy walking down the street with the red, running, pustulent sores? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Loose bits sink chips.