Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Transporting Broiler Chickens Could Spread Antibiotic-resistant Organisms

Date:
November 25, 2008
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
Researchers have found evidence of a novel pathway for potential human exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria from intensively raised poultry -- driving behind the trucks transporting broiler chickens from farm to slaughterhouse.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found evidence of a novel pathway for potential human exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria from intensively raised poultry — driving behind the trucks transporting broiler chickens from farm to slaughterhouse.

A study by the Hopkins researchers found increased levels of pathogenic bacteria, both susceptible and drug-resistant, on surfaces and in the air inside cars traveling behind trucks that carry broiler chickens. The study is the first to look at exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria from the transportation of poultry. The findings are published in the first issue of the Journal of Infection and Public Health.

Typically, broiler chickens are transported in open crates on the back of flatbed trucks with no effective barrier to prevent release of pathogens into the environment. Previous studies have reported that these crates become contaminated with feces and bacteria.

The new study was conducted on the Delmarva Peninsula—a coastal region shared by Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, which has one of the highest densities of broiler chickens per acre in the United States. Ana M. Rule, PhD, a research associate in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, along with professor Ellen K. Silbergeld, PhD, and Sean L. Evans collected air and surface samples from cars driving two to three car lengths behind the poultry trucks for a distance of 17 miles.

The cars were driven with both air conditioners and fans turned off and with the windows fully opened. Air samples collected inside the cars, showed increased concentrations of bacteria (including antibiotic-resistant strains) that could be inhaled. The same bacteria were also found deposited on a soda can inside the car and on the outside door handle, where they could potentially be touched.

“We were expecting to find some antibiotic-resistant organisms since it’s pretty clear that the transportation conditions for these chickens are not closed or contained,” Rule said. “Our study shows that there is a real exposure potential, especially during the summer months, when people are driving with the windows down; the summer is also a time of very heavy traffic in Delmarva by vacationers driving to the shore resorts.”

The strains of bacteria collected were found to be resistant to three antimicrobial drugs widely used to treat bacterial infections in people. These drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as feed additives for broiler poultry. The study findings were also consistent with other studies on antibiotic resistance in poultry flocks and poultry products.

According to the authors, the findings support the need for further exposure characterization, and attention to improving methods of biosecurity in poultry production, especially for regions of high density farming such as the Delmarva Peninsula.

Support for the study came via the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Innovation Grant Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ana M. Rule, Sean L. Evans, Ellen K. Silbergeld. Food animal transport: A potential source of community exposures to health hazards from industrial farming (CAFOs). Journal of Infection and Public Health, 2008; 1 (1): 33 DOI: 10.1016/j.jiph.2008.08.001

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Transporting Broiler Chickens Could Spread Antibiotic-resistant Organisms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124130946.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2008, November 25). Transporting Broiler Chickens Could Spread Antibiotic-resistant Organisms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124130946.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Transporting Broiler Chickens Could Spread Antibiotic-resistant Organisms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124130946.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
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