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India's Poultry Industry Adds to Drug Resistance

07:26 EDT 1 Aug 2017 | Meridian Institute

A new joint India-United States study found that chickens farmed for meat and eggs in India’s Punjab state harbor high levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. “Misuse of antibiotics in animal farms endangers all of us because it multiplies drug resistance in the environment,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan, the director of the U.S.-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, who led the study. The findings, which were published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, indicate poor regulation of antibiotic use in poultry farms. “Banning the use of antibiotic-premixed poultry feed and providing poultry with quality feed and water are ways to tackle the menace,” said Laxminarayan, adding that this study is just a snapshot of the situation in India. “Drug resistance is a huge public health problem in India,” said Amit Singh, an assistant professor at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. “This study challenges authorities to look at reducing transmission of drug-resistant strains from animals to humans.”

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