New York City Mice Problem: 1 in 4 Mice Carry Drug-Resistant Bacteria


Scientists have found that living with mice can be dangerous for humans because of the bacteria that they carry. A new study finds that mice carry a wide-range of bacteria that can cause harm to humans.

Two studies tackled the issue of how mice can affect human health.

No Harmful Viruses But Plenty Of Bacteria

Two studies using the same mice from New York City determined the harm of cohabiting with the small animals. Researchers from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health published two studies in the journal mBio. Both studies relied on data gathered from 416 mice from seven sites.

The first study found that New York City mice contain six never before seen viruses. One of the positive takeaways from the story is that the viruses don't cause human diseases. Some of the viruses that were found in mice were not associated with house mice.

The second study did find that mice carry a wide range of bacteria that are harmful to humans.

The study found that 37 percent of mice contained at least one bacterial pathogen. This was found through fecal matter and anal swab samples. Some of the germs that were found include E.coli, salmonella, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Shigella. Researchers also found that one in four tested positive for at least one antimicrobial-resistant gene.

Scientists who worked on the study say that people shouldn't freak out if they see mice. They haven't linked the mice to any outbreaks. Recommendation from the study includes taking steps to limit the ways that mice can enter the home and never eat food that may have come in contact with mice droppings.

Researchers caught mice from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. Most of the mice came from trash compactor rooms in the basements of apartment buildings.

Animals And Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a prominent issue regarding animals. About 80 percent of all antibiotics in the United States are taken by farm animals, not people. Most of the antibiotics are given to animals such as cows, pigs, and chicken to make them grow quickly.

This could make the animals a potential factory for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Bacteria in the animals' gut can transfer harmful microbes to humans and cause diseases. A study found that people who live near pig farms or near land fertilized with pig manure were 30 percent more likely to contract antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

While this is far from the vermin that mice are to humans, eating the meat of these animals can be harmful to people. 

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