- According to a new study by University of Southern California (USC), antibiotic-resistant bacteria could be transmitted to humans through consumption of plant foods.
- The study has noted that plant foods serve as vehicles for spreading antibiotic resistance to the gut microbiome. In an experiment conducted on mice, researchers observed that superbugs (antibiotic resistant bacteria) hid in the intestines of the mice fed with lettuce contaminated with the antibiotic-resistant bacteria, E.coli.
- The study has concluded that unlike the outbreaks of diarrhoeal illnesses caused immediately after humans eat contaminated vegetables, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria can hide in human intestines for a long time before they cause an illness.
- The study is particularly significant as it highlights the importance of tackling food-borne antibiotic resistance from a complete food chain perspective that includes both plant foods and meat.
- Antibiotic resistance is a type of antimicrobial resistance. Anti-microbial resistance is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, fungi, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals and antimalarial) from working against it.
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