Mumbai's chickens are host to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, pose serious health risk: Report

Daily feeding of antibiotics to poultry creates high resistance which directly affects human beings health.

Bacteria in the chickens of Mumbai have developed a high resistance to antibiotics.

In a study published in the journal Acta Scientific Microbiology, researchers looked at three regions in Mumbai — western suburbs, central and harbour. They collected 115 Salmonella samples from chicken liver and egg yolks and then tested and studied them in a lab.

What they found was a whole lot of Salmonella where it shouldn't be. The bacteria is responsible for severe food poisoning in humans, and antibiotic-resistant Salmonella makes the infection difficult to treat.

Live chicken and their egg yolks were tested for whether or not they contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella. These samples were put to test against 12 different antibiotics that are commonly used to treat bacterial infection in people. The researchers found that the bacteria wasn't just antibiotic-resistant, but multi-drug resistant. That essentially means that if a person consumes the infected meat and falls ill, it will be difficult to treat them with any commonly-used antibiotics.

The chickens develop this high resistance because antibiotics are mixed into food, irrespective of whether they have an infection or don't, Vikas Jha, lead author of the study, told Down to Earth,

Mumbais chickens are host to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, pose serious health risk: Report

Chicken kept in coops. Representational image. Credit; Pixabay

Ninety percent of the samples were resistant to azithromycin, nitrofurantoin erythromycin, and trimethoprim. Over 60 percent were resistant to gentamicin, amoxicillin, tetracycline, and chloramphenicol, and one sample was resistant to all the antibiotics.

This isn't the first time multi-drug resistant bacteria were found in poultry.

In 2017, a report from the Centre for Science and Environment stated that they had found poultry farms in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana to be multi-drug resistant to E. Coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus lentus.

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