‘Superbugs’ surging in Brazilian lakes, rivers, seas

A new study, to be published in November in the journal Science of the Total Environment, found that the waterways in Brazil’s two biggest cities have become “major sources of multidrug-resistant bacteria,” reports SciDev.Net. It is the first time these so-called superbugs have been found in these waters, which include those off the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, and the waterways of São Paolo.

Study: antibiotic use in India’s chicken industry is a looming disaster

Poultry farms in India are dosing their chickens with antibiotics at such high rates that 94 percent of meat chickens and 60 percent of laying hens tested in a new study harbored multi-drug-resistant bacteria that can cause grave human infections.

Report: Many options for replacing antibiotics in meat supply, but is demand high?

Since the FDA began moving three years ago to control antibiotic use in meat animals — an effort that culminated in January with a ban on growth-promoter antibiotics, which fatten livestock inexpensively — farmers have wondered whether anything can take the drugs’ place.

Pig-related infections spread in Denmark, may be in U.S. too

A recent study from Denmark shows that a strain of drug-resistant staph carried by pigs is causing severe illnesses in people who have no contact with pigs or farms. The infections have occurred even though Denmark has some of the most stringent controls on antibiotic use and the study’s …

Scientists strengthen a durable antibiotic against bacterial resistance

Doctors have prescribed the antibiotic vancomycin for 60 years against disease and infections in people "and bacteria are only now becoming resistant to it," says Britain's Press Association. "Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in the United States have now modified the drug so it works in three separate ways on bacteria, making it much harder for them to develop resistance."

Shareholders, activists pressure restaurants on antibiotic use in meat

Activism around the contentious issue of giving antibiotics to meat animals is moving from the farm to the plate by putting pressure on restaurant chains. Last week, a coalition of 30 consumer and environmental groups pressed the cult California burger chain In-N-Out to change its antibiotics-related buying policy. At the same time, a shareholder group pushed McDonald’s to increase its antibiotic-free buying — and while the measure did not pass, 30 percent of shareholders voted for it.

New paths for drug-resistant bacteria in North Carolina hog farms

The children of people who work in industrial hog farms in North Carolina, the second-largest hog-producing state in the country, are much more likely to be carrying drug-resistant bacteria than children whose households have no swine-farm contact, according to a new study.

CARB-X makes first grants to spur development of new antibiotics

An international partnership created to encourage development of new antimicrobials and diagnostics awarded $24 million to scientists pursing 11 projects with an additional $24 million possible over three years, if the researchers make progress. It was the first round of money from the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Accelerator (CARB-X), formed last July with a goal of investing $450 million over five years.

GAO: Large gaps in U.S. rules restricting antibiotic use in livestock

At the start of this year, the FDA shut off the use of medically important antibiotics to speed up weight gain in cattle, hogs and poultry as part of a government-wide drive to maintain the efficacy of antimicrobials in treating disease in humans. The Government Accountability Office says, "[O]versight gaps still exist" that could allow long-term use of medicine in the name of disease prevention, weakening the limitations on the drugs.

Use antibiotics less often, say British cattle veterinarians

Building on a 10 percent reduction in the use of antibiotics to treat farm animals, the British Cattle Veterinary Association is encouraging its members and the cattle industry to further reduce the use of the antimicrobials, says The Cattle Site, a website for industry news. The recommendations are aimed at lower overall use of antibiotics and minimizing critically important antibiotics, such as cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and colistin.