by Tara Brady – http://www.DailyMail.co.uk
A type of antibiotic passed between chickens and humans are to blame for 280 human deaths in Britain per year, according to a new study.
Billions of chickens are given antibiotics to treat E.coli bacteria but this has resulted in several strains of superbugs developing which are, when passed to humans, resistant to treatment.
Scientists have documented their findings in the Journal for Infectious Diseases and described the number of deaths as ‘staggering’.
They believe that as many as 1,500 people die a year across Europe.
Infection rates of one particular strain known as G3CREC tripled between people and animals between 2007 and 2012.
The scientists used data from the Netherlands and concluded that there were 1,318 additional deaths across Europe.
‘The number of avoidable deaths and the costs of healthcare potentially caused by third-generation cephalosporin use in food animals is staggering.
‘Considering these factors, the ongoing use of these antimicrobial drugs… should be urgently examined and stopped, particularly in poultry, not only in Europe but worldwide.’
Infection rates of one particular strain of E.coli known as G3CREC tripled between people and animals between 2007 and 2012
Richard Young, policy advisor at the Soil Association, said: ‘This is the first detailed estimate to emerge of the human health consequences from the use of antibiotics in European agriculture.
‘It indicates that large numbers of people die of resistant infections due to the over-reliance on antibiotics in intensive livestock farming.’