According to scientists, many developing countries are pumping livestock full of antibiotics at such a startling rate that they are dramatically increasing the risk of creating drug-resistant ‘super bugs’.
According to a study, which was conducted by the researchers from the Princeton University, antibiotic use in animals is expected to surge by two thirds globally between 2010 and 2030.
According to the scientists, the meat of antibiotic-fed animals, when consumed, develops antibiotic resistance in humans. It is also increasing the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant superbugs. They added that the emergence of superbugs is taking humans a step closer to the time when common infections may also prove fatal. The scientists believe that superbugs have the potential to kill about 10 million people across the globe by 2050 if it is not checked.
Tim Robinson, of the Princeton University and a scientist with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and also the lead author of the study, said, “Urbanization, increased wealth and changing diets mean industrial livestock producers are expanding rapidly. They are relying on antibiotics to keep disease at bay in the short-term. But the systematic use of low doses on livestock is creating perfect conditions to grow resistant bacteria.”
The study showed that Asia is the main region of concern as this is where demand for livestock products is growing dramatically while regulations governing antibiotic use in animals are either non-existent or not publicly available. Countries like China do not have any legislation over antibiotic-fed animals. The five countries with the largest projected increases in antibiotics consumption are Myanmar (205%), Nigeria (163%), Peru (160%) and Vietnam (157%).
The researchers believe that the poor will be worst affected if resistant bacteria transfers to humans more often, because they will be the least able to afford the bigger and more frequent doses of drugs required to fight dangerous infections.