Portuguese researchers have warned of an “international public health risk” after the discovery of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in several types of raw dog food. that reports Watchman.
Antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” one of the biggest global threats to public health according to the World Health Organization (WHO), often conjure up images of hospital environments. New research points to a less obvious source: the dog.
“The trend of feeding dogs raw food may encourage the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” the researchers said in a press release about their study.
In the Dog Food Study, a team from the University of Porto (Portugal) analyzed 55 samples of dog food from 25 brands – including 14 frozen raw ones – for antibiotic-resistant enterococci.
These bacteria can live without harm in the intestines of humans and animals, but they can be dangerous in other parts of the body and can be resistant to antibiotics.
The researchers found that all samples of raw dog food contained enterococci. Many of these bacteria are said to be resistant to the last resort, the linezolid antibiotic.
Genetic sequencing showed that some of these antibiotic-resistant bacteria in raw dog food were of the same species seen in patients in hospitals in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
MCR-1 . gene
In a separate yet-to-be-published study, another team from Portugal tested pet owners and animals from 80 households for bacteria containing the MCR-1 gene, which confers resistance to last resort, colistin.
All 126 people were otherwise healthy, while half of the 102 pets sampled had skin or urinary tract infections. Four people and eight dogs tested positive for the bacteria carrying MCR-1. In Peten, the gene is found in both the dog and its owner.
“Genetic analysis of the samples indicates that in one of these two cases, the gene was transferred between a pet and an owner,” the study said. Researchers believe the gene was passed from dogs to humans.