News

It is not uncommon for food to transmit antibiotic-resistant bacteria


More and more antibiotic-resistant pathogens - also transmitted through food

Antibiotics can help fight bacterial infections. However, drugs are becoming increasingly ineffective because their widespread use means that bacteria can arm themselves against them and become increasingly resistant - even to reserve agents. The dangerous pathogens can also be transmitted through food.

Some bacteria even become resistant to reserve agents

Antibiotics can fight bacterial infections. But this struggle is becoming increasingly difficult because the use of such medicines in hospitals, crop protection or livestock farming means that bacteria are upgraded and become increasingly resistant - even to reserve agents. The dangerous pathogens are also transmitted through food.

Almost two and a half thousand dead each year

Antibiotic resistance is increasing extremely worldwide.

And they are spreading faster than previously thought, as shown in a study published a few months ago.

"A look at the statistics shows how dangerous antibiotic-resistant pathogens are", says the current issue of the science magazine "BfR2GO", the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), around 54,500 people in Germany are infected annually with pathogens that are resistant to several antibiotics, i.e. multi-resistant.

According to the information, almost two thirds fall ill in the hospital. "Around 2,400 people die each year from infectious diseases with multi-resistant germs," ​​write the experts.

Pathogenic germs on poultry meat

As the experts explain, antibiotic-resistant bacteria thrive especially where the medication is used frequently: in sick people in the hospital and in farm animals in the barn.

While the dreaded methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in clinics is rather insignificant as food germs, other antibiotic-resistant pathogens, such as intestinal bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli, deserve more attention.

Such bacteria are regularly detected on raw turkey breast or chicken meat.

And even in salads and herbs, health-threatening germs are repeatedly found and can thus be transmitted to humans.

"Like other germs, antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be transmitted through food," explains the President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, in a message.

"Due to the global networking of the flow of goods, this is an increasing challenge for consumer protection," says the expert.

Pathogens are killed by appropriate heat

The pathogens are killed by sufficient cooking and roasting.

However, if they get on other foods such as salad or bread beforehand, they can lead to diseases in the digestive tract or transfer their resistance to other bacteria.

"Once such pathogens in the world, they become a problem - because some antibiotics then no longer work," warns the BfR.

This is how you can protect yourself

The President of the RKI, Professor Dr. Lothar H. Wieler explains in a “BfR2GO” interview how to prevent:

"Hygiene measures are the most important protection against infection: washing your hands well and, if necessary, disinfecting them. And stay away from sick, contagious people if possible, ”said the RKI President.

And: “In order to use fewer antibiotics, it helps to get vaccinated. Older people in particular and those with a weakened immune system should, for example, be vaccinated against pneumococci in order to prevent pneumonia, ”says Dr. Wieler.

"The annual flu vaccine also protects, because bacterial secondary infections often occur during flu." (Ad)

Author and source information


Video: Basic Mechanisms of Antibiotic Resistance and Gene Spread by Marilyn Roberts, PhD (January 2022).