Posts tagged science

Posted 3 years ago

Poultry Farms That Go Organic Have Significantly Fewer Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

realcleverscience:

This is rather amazing, and just another demonstration of how returning to more natural and eco-friendly methods can often yield significantly improved results, and are probably well worth the slight increase in cost.

RCS Highlights:

Antibiotic use in conventional animal food production in the United States has created public health concern because it has been shown to contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can potentially spread to humans.
The study.. is the first to demonstrate lower levels of drug-resistant bacteria on newly organic farms in the US and suggests that removing antibiotic use from large-scale U.S. poultry farms can result in immediate and significant reductions in antibiotic resistance for some bacteria.

“We initially hypothesized that we would see some differences in on-farm levels of antibiotic-resistant enterococci when poultry farms transitioned to organic practices. But we were surprised to see that the differences were so significant across several different classes of antibiotics even in the very first flock that was produced after the transition to organic standards,” explains Sapkota, an Assistant Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health. “It is very encouraging.”…

While all farms tested positive for the presence of enterococci in poultry litter, feed, and water as expected, the newly organic farms were characterized by a significantly lower prevalence of antibiotic-resistant enterococci. For example, 67% of Enterococcus faecalis recovered from conventional poultry farms were resistant to erythromycin, while 18% of Enterococcus faecalis from newly organic poultry farms were resistant to this antibiotic. Dramatic changes also were observed in the levels of multi-drug resistant bacteria (organisms resistant to three or more antimicrobial classes) on the newly organic farms…

She expects that reductions in drug-resistant bacteria on US farms that “go organic” are likely to be more dramatic over time as reservoirs of resistant bacteria in the farm environment diminish.