Why We Need To Pay Attention To This Superbug-Contaminated Squid

Scientists have found a previously undetected drug-resistant bacterium in the North American food supply.

Routine testing of raw squid that was for sale in Saskatoon, Canada revealed a carbapenem-resistant strain of bacteria. Carbapenem is a "last resort" antibiotic, given to patients for whom more common antibiotics have failed. As resistance to our last line of defense grows, public health officials caution that we may get closer to being unable to treat some infections.

The location -- a grocery store -- is troubling to researchers, as it potentially expands the exposure risk from a relatively small slice of the public to a much larger sector.

"Finding the bacteria in food is particularly concerning because it means that the risk for exposure for the public extends beyond people who have a particular travel history, or people who have recently been hospitalized," principle investigator Joseph Rubin, an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada told The Huffington Post. "Many people bring food products into their homes, obviously, so if we find this in the food products, it's a big concern."

The bacterium itself, Pseudomonas fluorescens, is not necessarily dangerous to people with healthy immune systems, explained Rubin. However, the microorganism he discovered carries a gene that produces the enzyme carbapenemase, which makes it resistant to Carbapenems.

It's that gene, as well as bacteria's ability to exchange genes with other bacteria, that makes the microorganism so potentially dangerous.

- Read More


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!