The chlorine washing of food, the controversial “cleaning” technique used by many US poultry producers who want access to the British market post-Brexit, does not remove contaminants, a new study has found. The investigation, by a team of microbiologists from Southampton University and published in the US journal mBio, found that bacilli such as listeria and salmonella remain completely active after chlorine washing. The process merely makes it impossible to culture them in the lab, giving the false impression that the chlorine washing has been effective. Apart from a few voluntary codes, the American poultry industry is unregulated compared with that in the EU, allowing for flocks to be kept in far greater densities and leading to a much higher incidence of infection. While chicken farmers in the EU manage contamination through higher welfare standards, smaller flock densities and inoculation, chlorine washing is routinely used in the US right at the end of the process, after slaughter, to clean carcasses. This latest study indicates it simply doesn’t work.
Antibiotic resistance adds nearly $1,400 to the bill for treating a bacterial infection and costs the nation more than $2 billion annually, according to a study yesterday in Health Affairs.
The study, which is the first national estimate of the incremental costs for treating antibiotic-resistant infections, also found that the share of bacterial infections in the United States that were antibiotic resistant more than doubled over 13 years, rising from 5.2% in 2002 to 11% in 2014.
Two strains of bacteria resistant to different antibiotics can protect each other in an environment where both drugs are present, according to the first experimental study of microbial cross-protection published last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Physics explored the potential of mutualism—an interaction that benefits two different species—on two strains of Escherichia coli, one of which was resistant to ampicillin and the other resistant to chloramphenicol.
An outbreak of an enterovirus that can cause severe illness has already affected 60 children in Catalonia, according to the most recent figures released by the regional health department. Of these, 29 were hospitalized after suffering a form of encephalitis, which causes inflammation of the brain stem and cerebellum. Health authorities said most of the children are recovering well, although two remain in a serious condition. Similar outbreaks have been reported in Bulgaria, the United States and several Asian countries, but this is the first time Spain has experienced so many cases at the same time. It’s behaving differently from what we usually see, and it is hard to know what to expect CARLES RODRIGO, VALL D’HEBRON HOSPITAL CHIEF OF PEDIATRICS
Industry just does not get it! Influenza viruses are not accidents, something un-natural to be exterminated somehow. These viruses and diseases like them is the natural system’s means of maintaining a balance in ecosystems. Human efforts to industrialize the raising of many different types of poultry for
profit continuously triggers “disease” responses from the natural system. Humans cannot alter this but we can learn to “farm” differently, in a manner that does not trigger “disease” responses. Trying to outsmart or bypass nature is a fools’ game that sometimes buys a bit of time for massive profit which is followed by unexpected results and humans pay with death from diseases that pass on to humans or massive die-offs that cause starvation.
H9N2 influenza virus has become endemic in different types of terrestrial poultry in multiple countries on the Eurasian continent, resulting in great economic losses due to reduced egg production or high mortality associated with co-infection with other pathogens. In China, which is regarded as an epicenter of avian influenza viruses, the H9N2 virus has been detected in multiple avian species. The first outbreak of the H9N2 influenza virus in China occurred in Guangdong province of Southern China during November 1992 to May 1994. These H9N2 viruses killed broilers with mortality of 10%-40%, and reduced the laying rates by 14%-75%. The H9N2 influenza virus is now the most revalent subtype of influenza viruses in chickens in China. H9N2 infections occur throughout the whole year, with lower morbidity in the summer. To prevent H9N2 infection in chickens, China implemented long-term vaccination programs in chicken farms as early as 1998. At least over twenty different commercial vaccines are used in China, with the vaccines are frequently updated. However, H9N2 avian influenza viruses continues to persist in chicken populations, even in vaccinated flocks.
At least four people have died after contracting a severe respiratory illness that has spread to more than 40 states, public health officials announced on Wednesday.
The deaths were the first to be linked to the nationwide outbreak of enterovirus 68, which has caused an influx of sick children – some of them critically ill – at hospitals around the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 472 cases of the infection as of Wednesday, although experts said the true number of cases was likely to be many times that number.
Tests showed that four patients who died were carrying the virus, but it was unclear to what extent the virus contributed to their deaths, the C.D.C. said.