Resistance in groundwater

The Animal Health Institute reports that almost 12,000 tons of antibiotics were sold for use in farm and companion animals, an increase from 2005. But the routine use of antibiotics to promote growth is going down about 5% per year. [story]

Bacteria develop resistance just by being bacteria and learn to resist our arsenal of antibiotics whenever they are exposed. Keeping antibiotics away from bacteria is a good idea. If we save our chemical swords for when truly needed, we extend our capability to kill bacteria when we truly must.

If we keep resistant varieties from spreading, such as monitoring staph and cleaning waste water before it leeches

genes found in hog waste lagoons are transferred – “like batons” – from one bacterial species to another. The researchers found that this migration across species and into new environments sometimes dilutes – and sometimes amplifies – genes conferring antibiotic resistance.

The new report, in the August issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, tracks the passage of tetracycline resistance genes from hog waste lagoons into groundwater wells at two Illinois swine facilities. [story]

Happy bacteria, doused in Prozac and pharma, [story]