Antibiotic resistant E.coli could spread, warns Soil Association
Source of Article: http://www.dairyreporter.com/Safety-Hygiene/Antibiotic-resistant-E.coli-could-spread-warns-Soil-Association
By staff reporter, 19-Nov-2008
A newly discovered antibiotic resistant strain of E.coli is at risk of spreading, the Soil Association has warned, as no restrictions have been made on the herd where it was identified.
is a major concern, as it is well understood that excess use can reduce
effectiveness. Around 30,000 people in the
The bug, discovered in
cows at an unidentified farm, is a vera-toxin known
as E.coli O26 which produces E.coli
(VTEC). Nineteen out of 20 calves and three out of 40 cows were found by
government vets to be positive. This is the first time that VTEC E.coli has been found with ESBL in the
According to the Soil Association, which is calling for limit to be imposed on the veterinary-use of modern penicillin-type antibiotics, the farmer has been given hygiene advice to protect his family, but no restrictions have been placed on animals from the affected herd.
This means that they can be sold locally to unsuspecting farmers and for export “so the Soil Association fears that the hyper-resistant strain will spread more widely”.
Soil Association policy advisor Richard Young called the incident “one of the most worrying developments in the continuing rise of ESBL E.coli”.
He added that there is a lack of awareness that continued high use of antibiotics in farming is contributing to increasing antibiotic resistance in humans.
“The government often calls on doctors to prescribe antibiotics less often. But similar advice needs to be given to veterinary surgeons and farmers”.
The organic association is also campaigning for restrictions of modern cephalosporins – a class of antibiotics – on all farms, both conventional and organic.
As of January 2009, it is restricting cephalosporin use on the organic farms it certifies in a bid to prevent the spread of ESBLs, in addition to other kinds of antibiotics that are already limited.
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