Use of antibiotics in chicken rearing leads to deaths from antibiotic resistant bacteria

Chicken Photo Credit: S. McGarnigle

Several strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria may have been caused by the large amount of antibiotic drugs given to chickens to control E.coli, according to a new study out of Europe.  The study reveals that as many as 1,500 people die a year across Europe from these superbugs. Infection rates of one particular strain, G3CREC, tripled between people and animals between 2007 and 2012.  Scientists urge that the ongoing use of these antimicrobial drugs should be examined and stopped not only in Europe but worldwide. This is the first detailed estimate to emerge of the human health consequences from the use of antibiotics in European agriculture, indicating that the use of antibiotics in chicken and livestock rearing is directly related to human health hazards.