Hog Waste and Rise in Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Animals living in large numbers on factory farms are given large amounts of antibiotics to prevent spread of disease. This has been implicated in rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria that render common antibiotics ineffective when used in humans. I’ve written about this a number of times but not in recent years. It’s an important issue that has not gone away.

In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois report that some genes found in hog waste lagoons are transferred — ‘like batons’ — from one bacterial species to another. And these bacteria with antibiotic genes were found in groundwater and wells.

See also: Factory Farms, Bird Flu and Global Warming