Humans And Swine Being Killed By Antibiotic-Resistant Disease

The bacterial-antibiotic connection: Currently, there are approximately 68 cases of new swine flu in the United States. Health officials believe the bacteria is being transmitted to humans by pigs. As of now, they claim that there is no need for panic, but it’s always good policy to be prepared. So far, the bacteria has been implicated in the fatalities of liver disease and cancer patients in Denmark, where the bacteria, Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase, (ESBL) is being transmitted to humans through pigs.

Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase’s are actually enzymes produced by certain types of bacteria, which renders the bacteria resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat them.

At the time ESBLs were first discovered in the mid 1980s, they were most commonly found in the Klebsiella species of bacteria, and at that time did not appear to be a major threat.

However, this has now changed, as a new class of ESBL has been discovered among E. Coli bacteria, which are resistant to antibiotics penicillin and cephalosporin, and are frequently found in Urinary Tract Infections.

Other bacteria species found to produce ESBLs include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, K. oxytoca, Salmonella, K. pneumoniae and proteus mirabilis.

Although little has been said about the rampant over-use of antibiotics in agriculture, this is a major source of human antibiotic consumption, thus increased antibiotic resistance.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in October, 2007, there were close to 100,000 cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus MRSA infections in the United States in 2005, leading to over 18,600 deaths. Thus, antibiotic-resistant disease is a MAJOR man-made problem.

Discussions about school outbreaks of MRSA last year focused on reducing medical over-prescribing of antibiotics and proper hygiene, but little mention has been made about the rampant use of antibiotics in agriculture, which constitutes a major source of human consumption, hence agriculture is a major source of antibiotic resistance.

Both MRSA and ESBL have been traced back to animals raised for food production, especially pigs.
In Denmark, health officials are unsure how veterinarians and farmers who have not consumed the infected meat have also become infected.

These animals are often fed antibiotics at low doses for disease prevention and growth promotion. Although the animals fed antibiotics in their feed gain 4 to 5 percent more body weight than animals not receiving antibiotics, the practice creates the perfect conditions for antibiotic resistance to thrive. As bacteria are repeatedly exposed to antibiotics, they begin to mutate. Through a series of mutations, they can quickly become immune to the drug’s effect.

But, the ramifications of using agriculture antibiotics doesn’t end there. The Journal Of Environmental Quality performed a study in 2007 to determine whether food crops accumulate antibiotics from soil covered with antibiotic-containing manure.

Corn, lettuce and potatoes were grown in a greenhouse on soil that contained hog manure with commonly used veterinary antibiotic added. The antibiotics were absorbed by all three of the crops, into tissue and leaves, as well. Also the antibiotics transferred to the potato tubers, suggesting that other root crops such as carrots, beets, radishes and parsnips may be at risk for higher antibiotic accumulation.

Unfortunately, these findings suggest there may be implications for organic growers who use manure as a natural fertilizer source. Currently, antibiotic-containing manure is still allowed under the organic label.

To avoid excessive exposure to antibiotics, always purchase from local farmers who you know are using organic practices for their livestock, as well as their organic food crops. This is always the safest way to avoid antibiotic overexposure. Farmers who raise grass-fed beef are most likely to be using safe organic practices, although unless the farmer is certified organic, you may not know just how safe the produce is. Certified organic farmers cannot use antibiotics to treat their livestock.

Antibiotic alternatives for human (or animal) consumption include Colloidal Silver, Grapefruit Seed Extract, and Olive Leaf Extract. These products can be purchased from local or online supplement suppliers.

Natural is best, organic superior.

To learn more about ways to reverse the effects of accumulated antibiotics, as well as other natural, organic alternatives, visit Dr. Suzanne here:

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