Chicken farmers used to be able to buy methamfetamine (speed) in 55 gallon drums to mix with chicken feed for egg layers. I wondered how much speed and other drugs got into us. Now, we are beginning to find out.
The key in safety seems to be not industrializing poultry and egg farming, as well as other meat production. When thousands of animals are housed together drugs are needed to keep them healthy but the long term result may kill us all – chickens and people.
Is Drug Resistance in Humans Coming From Chickens?
There is enough similarity between drug-resistance genes in E. coli carried by chickens and E. coli infecting humans that the chickens may be the source of it.
We conclude that the high rate of ESBL contamination of retail chicken meat in the Netherlands, which involves many of the same ESBL genes present in colonized and infected humans, is a plausible source of the recent increase of ESBL genes in the Netherlands. The similarity of E. coli strains and predominant drug resistance genes in meat and humans provides circumstantial evidence for an animal reservoir for a substantial part of ESBL genes found in humans.