Written by Timothy Huzar on May 2, 2020- Fact checked by Mary Cooke, Ph.D. New


New research suggests raw-frozen dog food contains bacteria that are resistant to key antibiotics.

The authors were due to present their work at the now  canceled  2020 European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).

Their work suggests that raw-frozen dog food contains bacteria that are capable of resisting mainstream antibiotics.

This poses a risk of the transmission of these antibiotic resistant bacteria from dogs to humans, includes an international public health risk, say the authors of the study.

Antibiotic resistance

According to the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , “[a] ntibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.”

The CDC highlight that 35,000 people die after developing an antibiotic resistant infection each year in the United States.

The  World Health Organization (WHO)  describe antibiotic resistance as “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.”

The WHO note that although bacteria can naturally become resistant to antibiotics over time, the misuse of antibiotics by humans is speeding the process up. This effect is happening either from the way we take antibiotics or from the way we use them in animal populations.

According to 2018 research in the journal  Molecules , antibacterial resistance in animals has primarily developed due to people’s increasing demand for meat and dairy and the intensive farming that this requires.

To meet this demand, intensive agricultural practices have grown significantly. Due to the conditions under which farmers rear animals in intensive agriculture, the widespread use of antibiotics is necessary to maintain the health of livestock.

This practice increases the chances of bacteria developing antibiotic resistance, which can spread to humans in several ways.

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