jueves, 30 de junio de 2011

New Superbug Threat from Intensive Pig Farms

The Soil Association is calling on the Government to take immediate action to limit the spread of a deadly new type of Salmonella, which is passing from pigs to humans.
Known as monophasic Salmonella typhimurium, it is has enhanced ability to cause infections and a particularly high attack rate in children and old people, leading to an unusually high rate of hospitalisation. It is also highly resistant to antibiotics, limiting treatment options.

Several different strains have already emerged and caused numerous infections in humans and at least one death. Professor John Trelfall from the Health Protection Agency has acknowledged that it appears "to be associated with pigs and pig products." German scientists have found clear evidence it is being transmitted from pigs to humans "along the food chain," and called for interventions at a farm level to prevent human infection.

The Soil Association wants a panel of experts to undertake an urgent review of the mounting evidence that specific action is needed to address the serious threat posed by the new type of Salmonella, and evidence that all Salmonella can spread directly from pigs to people, as well as via food. It also wants Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Environment, to intervene and stop any new intensive pig farms being built near residential areas at least until the panel has made recommendations.

Most monophasic salmonella from pigs are resistant to at least four families of antibiotics but the long-feared development of resistance to modern cephalosporin antibiotics in Salmonella has already been found as well on at least one British pig farm. The European Food Safety Authority has warned that resistance to these antibiotics could lead to treatment failures. They also warned that even the routine use of antibiotics such as tetracyclines, the most widely used antibiotics in pig feed, not only promotes resistance but also increases the spread and persistence in pigs of these resistant strains.

Flies and cockroaches are known to carry Salmonella and other pathogens found on pigs, and American scientists have said that because these insects can move freely between animal waste on farms and nearby houses. This is particularly significant because scientists believes that monophasic Salmonella typhimurium may have the ability to be shed in large numbers in faeces compared with other strains.

Monophasic Salmonella typhimurium is one of several Salmonella strains to have evolved in pigs. Furthermore, a recently published government study found that 28 per cent of British pigs tested positive for Salmonella. Of these, 92 per cent of these showed resistance to antibiotics, with 67 per cent being multi-resistant. A British government survey in 2002 found that one in every 12 sausages (8.6 per cent) were contaminated with Salmonella.

Research has shown that pigs raised indoors excrete higher levels of Salmonella in their manure than do outdoor-raised pigs, both organic and non-organic. Many scientific studies also show that Salmonella in pigs increases with herd size.

FUENTE: http://www.thepigsite.com/

Aporte: Andrea Cuellar

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