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).

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 September 20, 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 September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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