|Fig. 1 Food As A Source|
of Pathogens (see Fig. 2)
There is a tendency on the part of the feel-good medical media to call the "mass-production-of-animals-for-food industry" by the "isn't that special" name "animal husbandry".
But that type of media-speak is like calling the Navy Seals a boy scout troupe.
|Fig. 2 Food Ingestion Reality|
Globally, animal husbandry accounts for over one half of all antibiotic use [70%], which was estimated at 131,109 tons in 2013 and is projected to reach over 200,000 tons by 2030.5 However, only 10% of publications on antibiotic resistance consider the potential contribution from animal husbandry.
Most of the antibiotics used in animal husbandry are for non-therapeutic purposes, such as growth promotion and disease prevention, and are consistently detected in livestock gastrointestinal environments at low and sub-lethal concentrations that slow down the growth of susceptible bacterial populations. This exerts selective pressure for bacteria in livestock digestive systems to acquire and maintain antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and fosters an increase in the relative abundance of resistant populations. When these ARGs propagate to surrounding environments, antibiotic resistance becomes an environmental pollution problem, with ARGs as contaminants of emerging concern. For example, when antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) in livestock gastrointestinal environments are excreted,10 ARGs are disseminated into receiving environments (e.g., soil, water). Subsequent ARG replication and propagation would increase the likelihood of human exposure, particularly for agricultural workers and those living in neighboring areas.
A clear etiology between ARG propagation from animal husbandry and ARG acquisition by human gut microbiomes has yet to be established, which underscores the need for an updated and more holistic perspective of how ARGs released from animal husbandry affect environmental and human resistomes. Furthermore, selective pressure for ARGs in animal husbandry settings is a major operational concern as it may limit the number of antibiotics that are effective for therapeutic treatments, which is conducive to higher incidence of disease and rising production costs.
In this review, we examine the research progress on the occurrence and release of ARGs from animal husbandry, their propagation into receiving environments, and their potential exposure pathways to human pathogens. Furthermore, we evaluate the removal efﬁcacy of ARGs by different livestock waste treatment processes. Finally, we highlight critical knowledge gaps and research needs, and provide suggestions to mitigate the risk of ARGs from livestock waste."
(Antibiotic resistance genes from livestock waste: occurrence, dissemination, and treatment, emphasis added). No, the so called boy scout "animal husbandry" business does not shut down hospitals, it's the "mass-production-of-animals-for-food industry" stupid:
- Temporary suspension of specific services or even hospital closures are not infrequent. In the survey mentioned above, 71% of hospitals that had reported a nosocomial outbreak had restricted patient admissions, and 38% closed part or all of the facility.
- Practice Tip: Salmonella is most commonly (77%) cited as the reason for restricting patients' admissions.
- Medical and economic consequences of HAI include:
- •Increased length of hospital stay
- •Increased treatment costs
- •Possible indemnification and legal costs
- •Loss of future business"
(Standard Precautions and Infectious Disease Management, emphasis added). This situation is as serious as a heart attack.
And lest we dream on in denial, note that some 48% of genomic data collected in public places is not traceable to any known organisms (such as pathogens):
"The panoply of microorganisms and other species present in our environment influence human health and disease, especially in cities, but have not been profiled with metagenomics at a city-wide scale. We sequenced DNA from surfaces across the entire New York City (NYC) subway system, the Gowanus Canal, and public parks. Nearly half of the DNA (48%) does not match any known organism..."
(Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics, emphasis added). Does that mean that the scope of genetic studies is not broad enough, or does it mean that the methods of DNA collection are not accurate enough?
The populace is probably not as safe from big pharma and big farmer as the boy scout media would have us believe.
The previous post in this series is here.
Atoms, and therefore codons, amino acids, and proteins are composed of 99.99% SPACE: