Poultry farms that use organic methods that don’t involve antibiotics have significantly lower levels of drug-resistant bacteria that can potentially spread to human, according to a new study led by the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a problem for health care providers whose choices become limited in treating infection in humans, but there hasn’t been enough data on the sources. Researchers say the findings, published Wednesday online in Environmental Health Perspectives, are important.
Antibiotic use has been commonplace for decades on large farms. But that has drawn the ire of environmentalists and some health advocates.
The study may provide fuel to the argument. It suggests restricting antibiotic use from large-scare poultry farms can reduce resistance for some bacteria quickly.