Dangerous superbugs may get transmitted from pigs to humans, say scientists

Dangerous superbugs may get transmitted from pigs to humans, say scientists

C difficile can infect the human gut. It is also resistant to all but three antibiotics.

Dangerous superbugs can get transmitted from pigs to humans, said scientists.

The revelation has been made by Semeh Bejaoui and Dorte Frees of Copenhagen University, and Soren Persson of Statens Serum Institute, Denmark, media reports said.

The research focuses on superbug, Clostridioides difficile. It is one of the world’s major antibiotic resistance threats.

“Our finding indicates that C difficile is a reservoir of antimicrobial resistance genes that can be exchanged between animals and humans. This alarming discovery suggests that resistance to antibiotics can spread more widely than previously thought, and confirms links in the resistance chain leading from farm animals to humans,” Bejaoui told the Guardian.

Bejaoui is going to present the study at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in Lisbon on Sunday.

C difficile can infect the human gut. It is also resistant to all but three antibiotics.

The prevalence of C difficile was investigated in farm animals by the team led by Bejaoui.

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In the research, pigs were studied. To see if there is a match in humans, the results were also compared with clinical isolates in Danish hospital patients.

The presence of C difficile was searched in the samples. Genetic sequencing was also used to see if it harboured toxin and drug resistance genes.

“We found that the strains isolated in pigs were genetically identical to the ones found in humans over the same period. We still have to show that the strains were passed from pigs to humans but what our study does make clear is that farms that use antibiotics are creating conditions which allow resistant strains to flourish and these will ultimately infect humans,” Bejaoui added.

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