A new study using gene sequencing finds the superbug MRSA can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Researchers in England and Denmark used whole genome sequencing to establish the animal-to-human transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the MRSA bacteria.
“Our findings demonstrate that the MRSA strains we studied are capable of transmission between animals and humans, which highlights the role of livestock as a potential reservoir of antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” says Ewan Harrison, lead author of the study and a scientist at the University of Cambridge. The study was published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.
The New York Times reports that Louise M. Slaughter, (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Agency Commission Margaret Hamburg calling for immediate action to reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock.