Antibiotics are antimicrobial drugs that are specifically tailored to cure people of bacterial infection. Antibiotics cure bacterial diseases by either killing or prevent the growth of bacteria, some antibiotic have the antiprotozoal activity. However, antibiotics have no effects on viral diseases such as common cold. The antibiotic can either be categorized as a broad or narrow spectrum. Broad spectrum are antibiotics that act against a wide range of bacteria that causes diseases an example is a penicillin that acts on both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (Spellberg 2013). They kill the bacteria by either preventing cell division or stopping physiological activities of the bacteria. Narrow-spectrum antibiotics are bacterial drugs that on the act on specific bacteria an example is ampicillin. Antibiotics are always effective if they are properly used, inappropriate use lead to antibacterial resistance which is a common phenomenon in medicine today. The paper intends to discuss Antibiotics resistance in regard food chain impact on human health.
Antibiotic resistance is an evolutionary phenomenon that occur during antibacterial drug therapy; resistance arises when bacteria with enhanced genetically or physiological capacity survive the effect of antibiotic drugs. When antibiotic are administered to humans or animals, the drugs are absorbed in the blood while some remains in the digestive system where they kill the bacteria (Spellberg, 2013). However, in most instances not all bacteria are killed, resistant bacteria thrive producing more resilient bacteria. Some of the resistant bacteria are released into the environment through the feces leading to their spread, and possible the resistant bacteria may enter the food chain.
Slaughtering animals treated with antibacterial may lead to the spread of resistant bacteria to the food chain. Though it is possible to disseminate resistant bacteria and prevent them from entering the food chain, not much effort is taken at the slaughterhouse due to lack of proper knowledge. Therefore, meat products that enter the food chain are often contaminated by the resistant bacteria. In supermarket chicken meat, beef or pork are often contaminated by Escheria Coli a rare type of gut resistant bacteria. Resistant bacteria in meat can be killed through intense cooking (Finley et al. 2013). However, if the bacteria get to contaminate other foods such as salad which are eaten raw then the person who will eat the salad will get infected. When one person is infected in a family, family members will be exposed to the infection. An example is the transmission of Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) a poultry bacteria which is a methicilin-resistant from livestock to farmers who were feeding on the infected chicken. In late 1960s large quantity of resistant bacteria were excreted to the environment by livestock due to the use of antibiotic by the animal keepers (Magiorakos et al. 2012). Transmission of resistant strains from animals to humans has been a common happening in Europe; the transmission is majorly through feeding. Therefore the government should consider revising the use of antibiotics to treat livestock.
The major foodstuffs that do carry resistant bacteria are pork, farmed fish, chicken, rabbit, and beef. In 2014, Cephalosporin became useless in the treatment of resistant bacteria in France. Milk is a rare case since because milk industry has strict guidelines that prevent resistant bacteria from reaching the consumer. However, farmers do feed animals contaminated yogurt which poses a greater problem as it creates a chance for the resistant bacteria to enter the food chain through beef eating (Finley et al. 2013).
For total control several governments have burned use of certain antibiotic on livestock, this will reduce the chances of resistant bacteria to get into the food chain. Fluoroquinolone is one of the drugs that its use is restricted in Australia. The restriction has greatly lowered possibilities of infection.
Antibiotic resistance crisis is caused majorly through inappropriate use of antibiotic on livestock; it is an occurrence that can be controlled through strict measures on the use of antibiotics on animals. Measures should be put in place to monitor pathogen presence in foodstuff. If a product is found infected, it should be declared poisonous to the public. Such policies are already in place; WHO is working with several governments to ensure the safety of the public from resistant bacteria (Magiorakos et al. 2012). The major advantage of the effort to reduce bacteria resistance is the reduction in damage to the ecosystem. There has been a sharp decline of resistant bacteria in livestock hence improving animal's health and farmers health.
The antibacterial prescription should be a closely monitored process since most cases of resistance is due to miss-prescription. Antibiotics should only be used for their intended purpose and not to be used in curing other diseases such as viral infection. Humans and animals life can only be protected if antibiotic use is justified. Misuse of antibiotics will lead to the spread of resistant bacteria to even our future generation thus raising the cost of treating bacterial infection. The bacterium can genetically transfer the resistance genes to other bacteria which are not related to it thus controlling infection in one species is of great importance to reduce spread. Use of antibiotic in livestock should also take a new turn to prevent the resistant species from leaking into the human food chain.
Finley, R.L., Collignon, P., Larsson, D.J., McEwen, S.A., Li, X.Z., Gaze, W.H., Reid-Smith, R., Timinouni, M., Graham, D.W. and Topp, E., 2013. The scourge of antibiotic resistance: the important role of the environment. Clinical Infectious Diseases, p.cit355.
Magiorakos, A.P., Srinivasan, A., Carey, R.B., Carmeli, Y., Falagas, M.E., Giske, C.G., Harbarth, S., Handler, J.F., Kahlmeter, G., OlssonLiljequist, B., and Paterson, D.L., 2012. Multidrugresistant, extensively drugresistant and pandrugresistant bacteria: an international expert proposal for interim standard definitions for acquired resistance. Clinical microbiology and infection, 18(3), pp.268-281.
Spellberg, B., Bartlett, J.G. and Gilbert, D.N., 2013. The future of antibiotics and resistance. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(4), pp.299-302.
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