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Super salmonella bug spreading

9th August 2011

A new antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella has begun to spread internationally, according to a recent French study.

Bacteria

The strain, called Salmonella Kentucky, seems to have originated in Egypt nearly a decade ago, and is highly resistant to ciprofloxacin.

It seems to have spread from Egypt into Africa and the Middle East, and finally to Europe and the US, and scientists believe it may become prevalent worldwide.

Lead researchers Francois-Xavier Weill and Simon Le Hello wrote that the absence of reported international travel in approximately 10% of the subjects suggested that infections may have also occurred in Europe through consumption of contaminated imported foods.

Currently, most salmonella strains only produce mild symptoms in most people.

However, salmonella can be a high-risk infection in people whose immune systems are weakened.

For the study, the researchers examined nearly 500 cases from France, Denmark, England, Wales, and the US.

All of the cases were recorded between 2002 and 2008, and case numbers rose year-on-year during that period.

In order to study the habitat of the superbug, scientists also analysed Salmonella Kentucky sourced from poultry strains that acted as disease vectors in Africa and the Middle East.

Weill and Le Hello wrote that the birds seemed to play an important role in the infection process, and that antibiotic use in chicken and turkey production in Nigeria and Morocco may have contributed to the rapid spread of Salmonella Kentucky.

The researchers also looked at cases of the disease reported in Canada and the US, where another highly aggressive strain of the bacterium was reported just days ago.

The strain, known as S Heidelberg, has resulted in about 80 infections spread out over several US states.

Salmonella infection is one of the world's biggest public health issues, with millions of reported infections every year.

The researchers said that global co-operation may be necessary to stop the spread of Salmonella Kentucky.

Some lower-level strains of the bacterium are known to affect flocks of birds.

Although the EU placed a ban on antibiotics use in livestock in 2006, other countries have not been so quick to stem the development of superbugs in food.

In the US, there are no mandatory regulations concerning antibiotic use in livestock.

Just days ago, one person died and 79 people were made ill by an S Heidelberg strain from a poultry processing plant in Arkansas.

As a result, the company involved recalled 36 million pounds of turkey products.

Approximately 1.7 million cases of salmonella infection are recorded every year in the US and Canada every year, of which 2,800 are fatal.

Cases of salmonella are rarely treated with antibiotics, and people can be sure that they have no risk of getting infected if they cook food thoroughly.

 

 

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Comments

spencer jones

Thursday 4th August 2011 @ 7:09

Health authorities wouldn’t have to be nearly so worried about this new strain of Salmonella if they'd just drop their bias against using silver-based antimicrobials such as colloidal silver. According to numerous clinical studies and medical experts, colloidal silver works great against Salmonella. And pathogens generally don't develop resistance to silver-based antimicrobials. There's a pretty good article documenting colloidal silver's efficacy against Salmonella, here: http://www.thesilveredge.com/cs_and_salmonella.shtml


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