Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicians Ask EPA, 'Antibiotics To Cure Sick Apples, Or Sick Children?'

Date:
August 4, 2008
Source:
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Summary:
A U.S. federal decision to permit the State of Michigan to spray the state's apple orchards with gentamicin risks undermining the value of this important antibiotic to treat blood infections in newborns and other serious human infections, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

A federal decision to permit the State of Michigan to spray the state's apple orchards with gentamicin risks undermining the value of this important antibiotic to treat blood infections in newborns and other serious human infections, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

Related Articles


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday granted the state of Michigan "emergency" permission to use gentamicin to fight a tree disease called fire blight.

"At a time when bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to many of our best antibiotics, it is an extremely bad idea to risk undermining gentamicin's effectiveness for treating human disease by using it to treat a disease in apples," said IDSA President Donald Poretz, MD.

Gentamicin is a crucial antibiotic used to treat dangerous gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections, and is particularly valuable for treating blood infections in newborn children. As rates of antibiotic-resistant infections rise across the country, effective drugs like gentamicin become increasingly valuable. The Food and Drug Administration classifies gentamicin as, "highly important." The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently bans its use on imported fruits and vegetables and EPA officials have previously stated that using gentamicin in agriculture could reduce its value in treating human infections.

But in an ill-advised reversal, EPA granted Michigan special permission to use the antibiotic. The reason, ironically, is that fire blight has become resistant to the antibiotic apple growers had been using, streptomycin.

Microbes evolve resistance quickly, whether they cause human disease or apple disease. What worries infectious diseases physicians is that microbes pass those resistance traits on to other microbes. So when some species of microbe inevitably evolves resistance to gentamicin, IDSA is very concerned that that trait will show up in bacteria that cause human infections.

IDSA is urging EPA to rescind its decision. "The threat of antibiotic resistance is growing, and the number of effective antibiotics is dwindling," Dr. Poretz said. "Our priority must be to save these effective antibiotics for whom they are needed most: for humans, not for agriculture."

Congress is currently considering new legislation, the Strategies To Address Antimicrobial Resistance (STAAR) Act, intended to improve the U.S. response to antimicrobial resistance. IDSA and more than twelve other major medical, health care, and public health organizations have endorsed the STAAR Act.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Infectious Diseases Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Infectious Diseases Society of America. "Physicians Ask EPA, 'Antibiotics To Cure Sick Apples, Or Sick Children?'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731173137.htm>.
Infectious Diseases Society of America. (2008, August 4). Physicians Ask EPA, 'Antibiotics To Cure Sick Apples, Or Sick Children?'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731173137.htm
Infectious Diseases Society of America. "Physicians Ask EPA, 'Antibiotics To Cure Sick Apples, Or Sick Children?'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731173137.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins