Saturday, 25 July 2015

Superbugs - Klebsiella pneumoniae may be entering our hospitals from meat.

Just when we thought it could not get any worse.

Maryn McKenna writing in the National Geographic today on current research results in Texas.

We have just picked out the main points, you can read the whole and review the science via this link.

A Common Hospital Infection May be Coming To Us From Food

by Maryn McKenna

One of the most common and troubling infections that occur in healthcare may come from an unexpected source, according to a new paper: from food...

...The infection is Klebsiella pneumoniae, a stubborn gut-dwelling organism that can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections and meningitis. The finding that it is present in food—and in some cases, practically genetically identical in food and in hospitals—comes from a multi-institute project that for several years has been closely analyzing pathogens found on supermarket meat and in hospital patients in Flagstaff, Ariz... 

... Klebsiella increasingly is also highly drug resistant, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rank the most resistant form as an “urgent” health threat requiring immediate national action.

But just where Klebsiella comes from, in order to make it into patients in the first place, has been a bit of a mystery...

...And that establishes that what created the resistance patterns in the bacteria—originating on the farm, crossing to humans and then passing to hospital patients—is the routine use of farm antibiotics that in the past year has become an urgent public policy issue. “This is just more evidence,” he said, “that antibiotic use in food animals poses a significant threat to public health.”