Antibiotic resistance in poultry environment

Misuse of antibiotics in poultry farms is leading to a proliferation of multi-drug resistant bacteria. To make matters worse, these bacteria are now spreading in the environment because of unsafe disposal of poultry litter and waste in agricultural fields – this has a potential to infect human beings: says a new study from Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The study – titled ‘Antibiotic Resistance in Poultry Environment’ – conducted by CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Laboratory, collected samples of litter and soil from in and around 12 randomly selected poultry farms. These were located in four key poultry-producing states in north India –Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab. A total of 217 isolates of three types of bacteria – E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus lentus – were extracted and tested for resistance against 16 antibiotics. Ten of these antibiotics have been declared Critically Important (CI) for humans by the World Health Organization (WHO).