• Untreatable Disease: Antibiotic-Resistant Genes in Cow Manure May Add To The Threat

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    Manure from dairy cows, which is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains a surprising number of newly identified antibiotic resistance genes from the cows’ gut bacteria. The findings, reported in mBio® the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, hints that cow manure is a potential source of new types of antibiotic resistance genes that transfer to bacteria in the soils where food is grown. Thousands of antibiotic resistance (AR) genes have already been identified, but the vast majority of them don’t pose a problem when found in harmless bacteria. The real worry is when these genes appear in the types of pathogenic bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses or hospital infections.

    Your immune defenses are key in protecting you from all disease, including cancer, toxic poisons, infections, inflammation, and even the ravages of aging. What many fail to realize is that your immune system actually begins in your gut, and that maintaining optimal intestinal health is paramount in the fight against both acute and chronic disease.

    CAFOs Raise Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

    While antibiotics are certainly overused in medicine, one of the most pervasive sources of antibiotics is actually through the foods you eat—in particular factory farmed meats.

    Animals raised in so-called confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are routinely fed antibiotics to promote growth. Agricultural uses of antibiotics actually account for about 80 percent of all antibiotic use in the US,1 so it's undoubtedly a major source of human antibiotic consumption.

    Genes That Confer Antibiotic-Resistance Found in Cow Manure

    Contaminated meat is not the only culprit in the food supply, however. Since feces …

    The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance among bacteria is one of the most intractable challenges in 21st-century public health. The origins of resistance are complex, and a better understanding of the impacts of antibiotics used on farms would produce a more robust platform for public policy. Microbiomes of farm animals are reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes, which may affect distribution of antibiotic resistance genes in human pathogens. Previous studies have focused on antibiotic resistance genes in manures of animals subjected to intensive antibiotic use, such as pigs and chickens. Cow manure has received less attention, although it is commonly used in crop production.

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