A new type of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been found in pork supply being sold at supermarkets. The contamination of farm animals such as pigs, cows and chickens with the LA-MRSA CC398 have alerted the authorities as the bacteria can also be transmitted to humans. Little efforts have been exerted in battling MRSA in the livestock industry as the bacteria are mostly well-known to occur in hospitals.
MRSA is rampant in medical facilities due to its ability to contaminate open wounds easily, particularly in individuals with compromised immunity. Transfer of the superbug among humans is rare but it is still considered dangerous as infections may lead to death. Although MRSA infections are commonly linked to hospital-related causes, the primary etiology of spread is actually antimicrobial resistance due to over-prescription of antibiotics. The processes involved in these types of infections usually start with a contamination of what is typically a harmless germ, but because the body is far more exposed to antibiotics, the prognosis becomes unfavorable.
Antimicrobial resistance happens when the pathogens inside the body do not longer react to any form of antimicrobial drugs that are usually potent and effective in treating infectious diseases. The microorganisms that acquire antimicrobial resistance such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, can highly endure the actions of antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antimalarials. With this, standard treatments fail and the pathogens continue to thrive and do damage inside the body. The risk of transmitting the infection to other people becomes high as well. Antimicrobial resistance is developed when individuals do not take antimicrobials the way that it should be. Furthermore, unhygienic practices, incorrect food preparation and handling and weak infection control may add to the risk of infection spread.
Fifty percent of all antibiotics disposed in the UK are administered to farm animals. Antibiotics cannot be legally distributed to farms all around UK unless prescribed by a veterinarian, but because of the lapse in control and regulation, these antibiotics are being supplied to farms widely. Although the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption obtains data of supply through the sales records of antibiotic distributors, the organization does not monitor the way the drugs are being administered in each and every farm. Furthermore, the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate, an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs allows antibiotics to be released as medicated feedstuffs to authorized farms in the UK, which means that these drugs are given even to healthy animals.
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