SUPER BUGS, Animal Factories and Antibiotics

SUPER BUGS, Animal Factories and Antibiotics

Postby Oscar » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:36 am

LISTEN: MCR-1 and the dawn of the post-antibiotic age

[ http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the- ... -1.3399846 ]

Tuesday January 12, 2016

The discovery of MCR-1, the gene that enables bacteria to be resistant to the strongest antibiotics we have, raises questions about what we're giving to livestock, not to mention what we're giving ourselves. We speak to the doctor who found the MCR-1 link.

= = = = = =

Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria from the Air Plume Downwind of a Swine Confined or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation
[ http://www.ehponline.org/members/2006/8910/8910.pdf ]
Environmental Health Perspectives July 2006
Abstract
Objective:
In this study we evaluated the levels of antibiotic- and multidrug-resistant bacteria in bioaerosols upwind, within, and downwind at locations 25 m, 50 m, 100 m, and 150 m from a swine confined animal feeding operation.
- - - SNIP- - - - -
Conclusions: Bacterial concentrations with multiple antibiotic resistances or multidrug resistance were recovered inside and outside to (at least) 150 m downwind of this facility at higher percentages than upwind. Bacterial concentrations with multiple antibiotic resistances were found within and downwind of the facility even after subtherapeutic antibiotics were discontinued. This could pose a potential human health effect for those who work within or live in close proximity to these facilities.

= = = = = =

Losing war on bacteria
[ http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/200 ... 723-7985r/ ]
By Christian Toto THE WASHINGTON TIMES Published June 22, 2004
EXCERPT:
Antibiotic resistance isn’t a new phenomenon. It started shortly after penicillin enjoyed wide usage for the first time in the late 1940s. Some bacteria naturally develop resistance to antibiotic drugs without human intervention, sometimes by exchanging genes with other bacteria.

= = = = =

A review of 40 years of enteric antimicrobial resistance research in Eastern Africa: what can be done better?
[ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339253/ ]
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2015; 4: 1.
Published online 2015 Jan 28. doi: 10.1186/s13756-014-0041-4 PMCID: PMC4339253
Sylvia Omulo, Samuel M Thumbi, M Kariuki Njenga, and Douglas R Call corresponding author
EXCERPT:
Introduction

Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, antibiotics and other antimicrobial therapies have been used to control both old and new emerging pathogens, resulting in global improvements in disease outcomes and increments in life expectancy [1,2]. However, the rapid emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by microbial pathogens threatens to reverse the public health gains made since widespread use of antibiotics was adopted. AMR is not a recent phenomenon, [2] and with decreasing options for- and production of newer antibiotics [3-6] the control of diseases has become a challenge, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where infectious diseases, poverty and malnutrition are endemic.
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Re: LISTEN: MCR-1 and the dawn of the post-antibiotic age

Postby Oscar » Sat May 28, 2016 3:41 pm

‘Nightmare’ bacteria found in the U.S. resists all known antibiotics

[ http://inhabitat.com/nightmare-bacteria ... tibiotics/ ]

May 27, 2016

Last November researchers in China discovered a strain of bacteria that resisted all forms of antibiotics – including the “last-resort drug” colistin. Now, government officials have found the first case of an antibiotic-resistant superbug in the United States.

A 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania went to the doctor for symptoms akin to a urinary tract infection, however the ailment did not respond to antibiotics. She had not traveled during the five months before her infection. Doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center obtained samples and tested them, finding they did not respond to colistin. They released a study detailing the drug-resistant bacteria.

Related: Antibiotic resistant bugs could kill 10 million people each year by 2050
[ http://inhabitat.com/antibiotic-resista ... r-by-2050/ ]

The bacteria doesn’t respond to drugs because of a particular gene called mcr-1. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), mcr-1 “exists on a plasmid,” or a bit of DNA, and plasmids can travel between bacterium. The bacteria found in the woman had actually been infected with mcr-1 via a plasmid.

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thomas Frieden said, “The more we look at drug resistance, the more concerned we are. The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients. It is the end of the road for antibiotics unless we act urgently. We risk being in a post-antibiotic world.”

According to Reuters, both feeding antibiotics to livestock and over-prescription have contributed to the dilemma we face. Between 30 to 50 percent of antibiotics given by doctors to patients are either needless or incorrectly prescribed. Further, drug companies haven’t been willing to shell out money for research on better antibiotics because they can make more money on drugs that combat cancer or uncommon diseases.

Reuters reports that in the United States, 23,000 people already die due to antibiotic resistance every year. Last year President Obama released the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, at which point the HHS said that it has been studying antibiotic resistance and is undertaking a “coordinated public health response.”

According to HHS and the USDA, a few ways to avoid antibiotic resistant bacteria are to thoroughly wash hands and produce, and properly cook all fish, meat, and poultry to kill bacteria.

Via Reuters


= = = = =

U.S. sees first case of bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotic

[ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-healt ... SKCN0YH2KT ]

May 27, 2016 By Ransdell Pierson and Bill Berkrot

The mcr-1 plasmid-borne colistin resistance gene has been found primarily in Escherichia coli, pictured.

Reuters/Courtesy CDC

U.S. health officials on Thursday reported the first case in the country of a patient with an infection resistant to a last-resort antibiotic, and expressed grave concern that the superbug could pose serious danger for routine infections if it spreads.

"We risk being in a post-antibiotic world," said Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, referring to the urinary tract infection of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman who had not traveled within the prior five months.

Frieden, speaking at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C., said the bacteria was resistant to colistin, an antibiotic that is reserved for use against "nightmare bacteria."

The infection was reported Thursday in a study appearing in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. It said the superbug itself had first been infected with a tiny piece of DNA called a plasmid, which passed along a gene called mcr-1 that confers resistance to colistin.

"(This) heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria," said the study, which was conducted by the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of mcr-1 in the USA."

The patient visited a clinic on April 26 with symptoms of a urinary tract infection, according to the study, which did not describe her current condition. Authors of the study could not immediately be reached for comment.

The study said continued surveillance to determine the true frequency of the gene in the United States is critical.

"It is dangerous and we would assume it can be spread quickly, even in a hospital environment if it is not well contained," said Dr. Gail Cassell, a microbiologist and senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

But she said the potential speed of its spread will not be known until more is learned about how the Pennsylvania patient was infected, and how present the colistin-resistant superbug is in the United States and globally.

"MEDICINE CABINET IS EMPTY FOR SOME"

In the United States, antibiotic resistance has been blamed for at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually.

The mcr-1 gene was found last year in people and pigs in China, raising alarm.

The potential for the superbug to spread from animals to people is a major concern, Cassell said.

For now, Cassell said people can best protect themselves from it and from other bacteria resistant to antibiotics by thoroughly washing their hands, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly and preparing foods appropriately.

Experts have warned since the 1990s that especially bad superbugs could be on the horizon, but few drugmakers have attempted to develop drugs against them.

Frieden said the need for new antibiotics is one of the more urgent health problems, as bugs become more and more resistant to current treatments. "The more we look at drug resistance, the more concerned we are," Frieden added. "The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients. It is the end of the road for antibiotics unless we act urgently."

Overprescribing of antibiotics by physicians and in hospitals and their extensive use in food livestock have contributed to the crisis. More than half of all hospitalized patients will get an antibiotic at some point during their stay. But studies have shown that 30 percent to 50 percent of antibiotics prescribed in hospitals are unnecessary or incorrect, contributing to antibiotic resistance.

Many drugmakers have been reluctant to spend the money needed to develop new antibiotics, preferring to use their resources on medicines for cancer and rare diseases that command very high prices and lead to much larger profits.

In January, dozens of drugmakers and diagnostic companies, including Pfizer (PFE.N), Merck & Co (MRK.N), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L), signed a declaration calling for new incentives from governments to support investment in development of medicines to fight drug-resistant superbugs.

(This story corrects headline, first and third paragraphs to show bacteria is resistant to last-resort antibiotic colistin, not all antibiotics)
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Re: LISTEN: MCR-1 and the dawn of the post-antibiotic age

Postby Oscar » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:20 pm

Letter to Ag Minister re: use of antibiotics in factory production of animals

From: Elaine Hughes
Sent: Saturday, May 28, 2016 4:28 PM
To: CDN.GVT. - MacAULAY, L. - AG
Subject: Please Forward directly to Mr. MacAulay: 'Nightmare’ bacteria found in the U.S. resists all known antibiotics

Hello, Mr. MacAulay

For those of us who have protested for many years against the factory production of animals – for myself since April 2003 – this news comes as no surprise!

In my group’s efforts to keep Big Sky Farms out of our community (protect our drinking water, stop the development of “Super Bugs”, etc.), I faced ridicule, harassment, name-calling and to this day, some people in this small community still choose to cross the street rather than speak to me!

I believe we are one of the very few victories on the Planet – we kept them out! We are very proud of our accomplishment!!

As a new Agriculture Minister, I wasn’t sure if you’re aware of the risk to human and animal health such as we are now face resulting from this abhorrent industry – but, here it is!

If you are interested in the history of our battle (under Communities: Barrier Valley 1 – 3):
[ http://www.stopthehogs.com/ ]

More info on factory production of animals:
[ viewforum.php?f=2 ]

Elaine Hughes
ARCHERWILL, SK S0E 0B0

= = = = =

‘Nightmare’ bacteria found in the U.S. resists all known antibiotics

[ http://inhabitat.com/nightmare-bacteria ... tibiotics/ ]

May 27, 2016

Last November researchers in China discovered a strain of bacteria that resisted all forms of antibiotics – including the “last-resort drug” colistin. Now, government officials have found the first case of an antibiotic-resistant superbug in the United States.

A 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania went to the doctor for symptoms akin to a urinary tract infection, however the ailment did not respond to antibiotics. She had not traveled during the five months before her infection. Doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center obtained samples and tested them, finding they did not respond to colistin. They released a study detailing the drug-resistant bacteria.

Related: Antibiotic resistant bugs could kill 10 million people each year by 2050

The bacteria doesn’t respond to drugs because of a particular gene called mcr-1. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), mcr-1 “exists on a plasmid,” or a bit of DNA, and plasmids can travel between bacterium. The bacteria found in the woman had actually been infected with mcr-1 via a plasmid.

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thomas Frieden said, “The more we look at drug resistance, the more concerned we are. The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients. It is the end of the road for antibiotics unless we act urgently. We risk being in a post-antibiotic world.”

According to Reuters, both feeding antibiotics to livestock and over-prescription have contributed to the dilemma we face. Between 30 to 50 percent of antibiotics given by doctors to patients are either needless or incorrectly prescribed. Further, drug companies haven’t been willing to shell out money for research on better antibiotics because they can make more money on drugs that combat cancer or uncommon diseases.

Reuters reports that in the United States, 23,000 people already die due to antibiotic resistance every year. Last year President Obama released the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, at which point the HHS said that it has been studying antibiotic resistance and is undertaking a “coordinated public health response.”

According to HHS and the USDA, a few ways to avoid antibiotic resistant bacteria are to thoroughly wash hands and produce, and properly cook all fish, meat, and poultry to kill bacteria.

Via Reuters

= = = = =

U.S. sees first case of bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotic

[ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-healt ... SKCN0YH2KT ]

May 27, 2016 By Ransdell Pierson and Bill Berkrot

The mcr-1 plasmid-borne colistin resistance gene has been found primarily in Escherichia coli, pictured. Reuters/Courtesy CDC

U.S. health officials on Thursday reported the first case in the country of a patient with an infection resistant to a last-resort antibiotic, and expressed grave concern that the superbug could pose serious danger for routine infections if it spreads.

"We risk being in a post-antibiotic world," said Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, referring to the urinary tract infection of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman who had not traveled within the prior five months.

Frieden, speaking at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C., said the bacteria was resistant to colistin, an antibiotic that is reserved for use against "nightmare bacteria."

The infection was reported Thursday in a study appearing in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. It said the superbug itself had first been infected with a tiny piece of DNA called a plasmid, which passed along a gene called mcr-1 that confers resistance to colistin.

"(This) heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria," said the study, which was conducted by the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of mcr-1 in the USA."

The patient visited a clinic on April 26 with symptoms of a urinary tract infection, according to the study, which did not describe her current condition. Authors of the study could not immediately be reached for comment.

The study said continued surveillance to determine the true frequency of the gene in the United States is critical.

"It is dangerous and we would assume it can be spread quickly, even in a hospital environment if it is not well contained," said Dr. Gail Cassell, a microbiologist and senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

But she said the potential speed of its spread will not be known until more is learned about how the Pennsylvania patient was infected, and how present the colistin-resistant superbug is in the United States and globally.

"MEDICINE CABINET IS EMPTY FOR SOME"

MORE:

[ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-healt ... SKCN0YH2KT ]
Oscar
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Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

Re: SUPER BUGS, Animal Factories and Antibiotics

Postby Oscar » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:24 pm

REPLY from AG Minister MacAulay

From: Minister / Ministre (AAFC/AAC)
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2016 1:04 PM
To: 'tybach@sasktel.net'
Cc: 'hon.jane.philpott@canada.ca'
Subject: Your correspondence to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food - Quote: 221500

Quote: 221500

Ms. Elaine Hughes
tybach@sasktel.net

Dear Ms. Hughes:

Thank you for your letter regarding the resistant strain of bacteria unresponsive to colistin and the emerging threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The Government of Canada takes the threat of AMR very seriously, and we are committed to work alongside our domestic and international partners on this issue. Our commitments to address AMR are outlined in Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action (released in October 2014) and the supporting Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: Building on the Federal Framework for Action (released in March 2015). These documents describe federal objectives and activities in surveillance, stewardship, and innovation.

The Framework may be viewed at [ http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/drugs-pro ... ns-eng.php ]. The Action Plan is available at [ http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/publicati ... on-eng.php ].

To address your more specific concerns about the MCR-1 gene and the use of antimicrobials, there are no approved colistin products (polymyxin E) for use in production animals in Canada. There are over-the-counter polymyxin B products (such as Neosporin and bacitracin) for use in Canada for individual animals, including external use on companion animals and as an intra-mammary product for cattle.

In 2012, the World Health Organization reclassified colistin as critically important for human medicine. Health Canada has categorized colistin among Category I antimicrobials (“Very High Importance”), as they are essential for the treatment of serious bacterial infections and there are limited alternatives. In order to minimize the risks to public health of extra-label drug use, animal safety, and the environment, Health Canada has a policy in place to promote the prudent use of drugs in food-producing animals. Further, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency continues to support its federal partners in initiatives to contain AMR in Canada.

I have taken the liberty of sending a copy of our correspondence to the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, as the use of veterinary drugs falls within her responsibilities.

Again, thank you for writing.

Sincerely,

Lawrence MacAulay, PC, MP

c.c.: The Honourable Jane Philpott, PC, MP
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