Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

US meat and poultry is widely contaminated with drug-resistant Staph bacteria, study finds

Date:
April 15, 2011
Source:
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Summary:
Drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium linked to a wide range of human diseases, are present in meat and poultry from US grocery stores at unexpectedly high rates, according to a new study.

Drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium linked to a wide range of human diseases, are present in meat and poultry from U.S. grocery stores at unexpectedly high rates. Nearly half of the meat and poultry samples -- 47 percent -- were contaminated with S. aureus, and more than half of those bacteria -- 52 percent -- were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics.
Credit: © Petr Nad / Fotolia

Drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium linked to a wide range of human diseases, are present in meat and poultry from U.S. grocery stores at unexpectedly high rates, according to a nationwide study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Nearly half of the meat and poultry samples -- 47 percent -- were contaminated with S. aureus, and more than half of those bacteria -- 52 percent -- were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics, according to the study published April 15 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

This is the first national assessment of antibiotic resistant S. aureus in the U.S. food supply. And, DNA testing suggests that the food animals themselves were the major source of contamination.

Although Staph should be killed with proper cooking, it may still pose a risk to consumers through improper food handling and cross-contamination in the kitchen.

Researchers collected and analyzed 136 samples -- covering 80 brands -- of beef, chicken, pork and turkey from 26 retail grocery stores in five U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Flagstaff and Washington, D.C.

"For the first time, we know how much of our meat and poultry is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Staph, and it is substantial," said Lance B. Price, Ph.D., senior author of the study and Director of TGen's Center for Food Microbiology and Environmental Health.

"The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today," Dr. Price said.

Densely-stocked industrial farms, where food animals are steadily fed low doses of antibiotics, are ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria that move from animals to humans, the report says.

"Antibiotics are the most important drugs that we have to treat Staph infections; but when Staph are resistant to three, four, five or even nine different antibiotics -- like we saw in this study -- that leaves physicians few options," Dr. Price said.

"The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria -- including Staph -- remains a major challenge in clinical medicine," said Paul S. Keim, Ph.D., Director of TGen's Pathogen Genomics Division and Director of the Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics at Northern Arizona University (NAU).

"This study shows that much of our meat and poultry is contaminated with multidrug-resistant Staph. Now we need to determine what this means in terms of risk to the consumer," said Dr. Keim, a co-author of the paper.

The U.S. government routinely surveys retail meat and poultry for four types of drug-resistant bacteria, but S. aureus is not among them. The paper suggests that a more comprehensive inspection program is needed.

S. aureus can cause a range of illnesses from minor skin infections to life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia, endocarditis and sepsis.

The study was supported through a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts as part of The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Translational Genomics Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. E. Waters, T. Contente-Cuomo, J. Buchhagen, C. M. Liu, L. Watson, K. Pearce, J. T. Foster, J. Bowers, E. M. Driebe, D. M. Engelthaler, P. S. Keim, L. B. Price. Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in US Meat and Poultry. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2011; DOI: 10.1093/cid/cir181

Cite This Page:

The Translational Genomics Research Institute. "US meat and poultry is widely contaminated with drug-resistant Staph bacteria, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110415083153.htm>.
The Translational Genomics Research Institute. (2011, April 15). US meat and poultry is widely contaminated with drug-resistant Staph bacteria, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110415083153.htm
The Translational Genomics Research Institute. "US meat and poultry is widely contaminated with drug-resistant Staph bacteria, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110415083153.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 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:
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