Study suggests superbug link to family dog
Antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" -- which the World Health Organization calls one of the top global threats to public health -- usually conjure images of hospital settings.
But new research may point to a less-obvious source: the family dog.
Researchers yesterday warned of "an international public health risk" after finding antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a range of different types of raw dog food.
"The trend for feeding dogs raw food may be fuelling the spread of antibiotic resistant-bacteria", the researchers said in a press release for their study, to be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases. Separate research to be presented at the same conference found resistance to a last-resort antibiotic may be passing between pet dogs and their owners.
Antibiotic resistant bugs can render minor injuries and common infections potentially deadly. Resistance has grown in recent years due to overuse of such drugs in humans and farm animals.
In the dog food study, a team from the University of Porto analysed 55 samples of dog food from 25 brands including 14 raw frozen types, looking for Enterococci bacteria.