Monday, August 15, 2005
BBC NEWS | Programmes | Real Story | Superbugs found in chicken survey: "Significant numbers of chickens on sale in UK shops are contaminated with superbugs, a scientific survey commissioned by BBC One's Real Story suggests. "
Of the British-grown chickens analysed, over half were contaminated with multi-drug resistant E.coli which is immune to the effects of three or more antibiotics.
More than a third of the 147 samples, which included overseas and UK produced chicken, had E.coli germs resistant to the important antibiotic Trimethaprim which is used to treat bladder infections.
According to the latest figures, British animals consume 15 tonnes of Trimethaprim a year.
The World Health Organisation has named antibiotic resistance as one of three major threats for the future.
Dr Mike Millar, the head of Infection Control at St Barts Hospital in London, said: "Potentially this is very worrying.
"We've known for years there've been outbreaks of bladder infections in different parts of the world but we haven't really known where the germs have been coming from.
In worst cases, bladder infections could lead to kidney damage and the need for renal dialysis, he said.