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E-M:/ Study links drug resistance to swine

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

Enviro-Mich folks:  One of the issues raised in the debate over SB 205, 
elimination of local control over livestock factories, was the growing concern 
about antibiotic resistance resulting from the feeding of antibiotics to 
livestock in these conditions to promote faster growth. Here is some a 
disturbing new update on this issue: 


The News-Gazette (Champaign IL), Sunday, Jan 16, 2000
Study links drug resistance to swine
URBANA - New evidence from Europe should serve as a wake-up  
call to U.S. livestock farmers who routinely feed antibiotics to their 
"It's a smoking gun," said Bryan White, a University of Illinois 
animal scientist, of a recent study in Denmark that traces multidrug 
resistance in humans infected with salmonella to two swine herds.
  The study, published in November in the New England Journal of 
Medicine, soundly establishes that link for the first time although other 
flawed studies have attempted to do the same thing, White said.  
   "A number of papers talked about resistance outbreaks in the U.S. and 
Europe, but there were holes in the papers," he said. "This study tells me 
what I already know: You can get human resistance. A lot of outbreaks we 
thought were not linked to antibiotic use in livestock might be."  
   At issue: U.S. farmers' almost universal practice of routinely feeding 
subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics to their swine, cattle, dairy cows and 
poultry. The practice has virtually been banned in the European Union, 
White said.  
   "They're used as growth promotants," said UI animal scientist Gilbert 
Hollis, who is planning a conference at Urbana's Holiday Inn on March 16 
and 17 to discuss the controversi
al issue and talk about alternatives...  
The New England Journal of Medicine -- November 4, 1999 -- Vol. 341, No. 19 
An Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant, Quinolone-Resistant Salmonella enterica 
Serotype Typhimurium DT104
Kare Molbak, Dorte Lau Baggesen, Frank Moller Aarestrup, Jens Munk Ebbesen, 
Jorgen Engberg, Kai Frydendahl, Peter Gerner-Smidt, Andreas Munk Petersen, 
Henrik C. Wegener 
Conclusions. Our investigation of an outbreak of DT104 documented the spread of 
quinolone-resistant bacteria from food animals to humans; this spread was 
associated with infections that were difficult to treat. Because of the increase
in quinolone resistance in salmonella, the use of fluoroquinolones in food 
animals should be restricted. (N Engl J Med 1999;341:1420-5.)
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