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Weekly Overview: Resistance to Drug of Last Resort Found in US Pig

12 December 2016

GLOBAL - A new study has discovered, for the first time, bacteria that carry a transmissible carbapenem resistance gene in a pig in the US.

Carbapenems are not used in US agriculture due to their importance to human health.

"It's a surprise that they would show up in livestock," said Thomas Wittum, PhD, Professor and Chair of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University.

The investigators used gauze swabs to obtain samples from floors and walls of pens, as well as swiffers, to collect environmental and faecal samples from a 1,500 sow, farrow-to-finish pig farm during four visits over five months. 

Commenting on the finding, the National Pork Board stated that an important takeaway from the study is that the US pork supply is safe, as the resistant gene was not found in a market hog.

The Pork Checkoff is also eager to analyse the findings, including how resistant gene samples were found in one barn, on one site without any confirmed indication of how the resistant gene got there.

Ohio State University researchers acknowledge that it is unknown how the carbapenem resistant bacteria was introduced to the facility and that it could have been introduced by an outside source. 

In disease news, African Swine Fever (ASF) has been reported on another Ukrainian pig farm located close to the border with Moldova.

Russia has also reported more outbreaks in wild boar, including an outbreak at a zoo in Khotynetsky, Orlovskaya region.

Here, all 17 wild boar at the zoo were destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease. The source of the outbreak is unknown.

Lucy Towers

Lucy Towers
News Team - Editor

After graduating from The University of Sheffield, Lucy joined 5M in 2011 as part of the News Desk team. In 2012, she was promoted to editor of TheFishSite. With previous farming experience and a love for the great outdoors, Lucy has a passion for wildlife and the environment.

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