Bad dog? Research suggests a superbug link with man’s best friend

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New research could point out that raw dog food is a source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Antibiotic-resistant “superheroes,” which the World Health Organization describes as one of the world’s top threats to public health, often evoke images of hospitals.

But new research may point to a less obvious source: the family dog.

Investigators warned Sunday “of an international risk “after finding antibiotic – resistant bacteria in various types of raw dog food.

“The tendency to feed dogs raw food may be encouraging the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” the researchers said in a press release for their study, which will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

A separate study to be presented at the same conference showed that resistance to a last resort antibiotic can happen and their owners.

Antibiotic-resistant insects can cause minor injuries and common infections to be life-threatening.

Resistance has grown in recent years due to the overuse of these drugs in humans and .

In the study of dog food, a team from the University of Porto analyzed 55 samples of dog food from 25 brands, including 14 raw frozen types, looking for Enterococci bacteria.

The bacterium is able to live harmlessly in the human and animal intestines, but can be dangerous in other parts of the body and can be resistant to antibiotics.

The researchers found that all samples of raw dog food contained antibiotic-resistant enterococci, including last-line linezolid antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Genetic sequencing revealed some of these in raw dog food they were found in hospitalized patients in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands.

“Close human contact with dogs and the marketing of the brands studied in different countries poses an international risk to public health,” said researcher Ana Freitas.

“European authorities need to raise awareness of the potential health risks when feeding raw diets to pets and review the manufacture of dog food, including ingredient selections and hygiene practices.”

He added that dog owners should wash their hands after handling pet food and removing feces.

Threat to health

In a separate study, which has not yet been sent to a medical journal for publication, another team from Portugal tested the bacteria with pet and pet owners. , which provides resistance to the ultimate colistin antibiotic.

The 126 humans were healthy, while half of the 102 pets in the sample had fur either .

Four humans and eight tested positive for mcr-1-carrying bacteria, and in two households the gene was found in both the dog and its owner.

“Genetic analysis of the samples suggested that in one of these two cases, the gene had been transmitted between the pet and the owner,” in said the investigation, adding that the gene was believed to be passed from dog to human.

They added that this is a concern for pets to be able to extend resistance to last-resort antibiotics.

The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks antibiotic resistance as one of the largest audiences threats facing humanity.

Drug-resistant infections are estimated to cause the deaths of 700,000 people a year worldwide and the UN has warned it could rise to 10 million by 2050 if no action is taken.


Dog food sold throughout Europe contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including “superbugs” found in hospital patients.


© 2021 AFP

Citation: Bad dog? Research suggests a superbug link with man’s best friend (2021, July 11) retrieved July 11, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-bad-dog-superbug- link-friend.html

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