Antibiotic Resistance Studies and Reports

Airborne Multidrug-resistant Bacteria Isolated From a Concentrated Swine Feeding Operation

Research has documented the following sources of human exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria: retail pork products and surface and ground waters contaminated with swine waste. The goal of this study was to determine if the air within a concentrated swine feeding operation is also a source of exposure to pathogenic antibiotic resistant bacteria. Bacteria isolated in the air samples included EnterococcusStaphylococcus, and Streptococcus species. 98% of the species isolated showed high-level resistance to at least two antibiotics typically used in the production of hogs.\

Antibiotics, Bacteria, and Antibiotic Resistance Genes: Aerial Transport from Cattle Feed Yards via Particulate Matter”

This study published in the online journal Environmental Health Perspectives

Was designed “to determine the extent to which antibiotics, antibiotic resistance genes (ARG), and ruminant-associated microbes are aerially dispersed via particulate matter (PM) derived from large scale beef cattle feed yards.” It was found that wind dispersed particulate matter from feed yards does contain these contaminants.

“Bloom of Resident Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Soil Following Manure Fertilization”

This study investigated the impact of manure as an amendment on the microbiome (commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms) and ‘resistome’ (complete set of antibiotic resistant genes and their precursors) found in soil. They cultured bacteria from soil before and after application of manure from cows that had not received antibiotic treatment. It was found that application of manure stimulated a bloom of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the soil, independent of antibiotic exposure of the cows from which the manure was derived.

Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a Crisis for the Health and Wealth of Nations

In July 2014 the Prime Minister of the UK assembled a team of experts to review the problem of antimicrobial resistance. This document is their first paper. It covers the following topics: 1) What is antimicrobial resistance, 2) The economic costs of drug-resistant infections, 3) Their research findings, 4) The secondary health effects of antibiotic resistance, and 5) Future work and cause for optimism.

Airborne Multidrug-resistant Bacteria Isolated From a Concentrated Swine Feeding Operation

Research has documented the following sources of human exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria: retail pork products and surface and ground waters contaminated with swine waste. The goal of this study was to determine if the air within a concentrated swine feeding operation is also a source of exposure to pathogenic antibiotic resistant bacteria. Bacteria isolated in the air samples included EnterococcusStaphylococcus, and Streptococcus species. 98% of the species isolated showed high-level resistance to at least two antibiotics typically used in the production of hogs.

The potential role of concentrated animal feeding operations in infectious disease epidemics and antibiotic resistance

This paper addresses the increasing risk of new, more virulent strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria emerging from the prevalent use of nontherapeutic antimicrobial growth promotants in industrialized livestock production. The authors concur with the position of the World Health Organization that this use of antibiotics should be phased out and that all therapeutic antimicrobial agents for both human and animal use should be by prescription only. The issue of virulent strains of influenza arising from swine and poultry raised in close proximity is also addressed. (NOTE: This paper was written by a working group from the Conference on Environmental Health Impacts of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Anticipating Hazards-Searching for Solutions)

Emergence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus of Animal Origin in Humans

A new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (NT-MRSA) emerged in the Netherlands in 2003, and now accounts for ³ 20% of MRSA cases in the country. Clusters of MT-MRSA were geographically associated with pig farming, and carriers of NT-MRSA were more often cattle or pig farmers.

“The Rising Menace of Toxic Enterocolitis of Clostridium difficile et al”

This unpublished article by a medical doctor describes the ‘rising menace’ of virulent and lethal strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria that are generated by antibiotic abuse in factory farms. These deadly ‘superbugs’ are transmitted to humans via manure contamination of produce or drinking water.

“This Little Piggy Bred a Superbug”

This excerpt from the book The ChainFarm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food explains how modern farming practices have lead directly to the rise of antibiotic resistant infections in U.S. hospitals.

Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a Crisis for the Health and Wealth of Nations

In July 2014 the Prime Minister of the UK assembled a team of experts to review the problem of antimicrobial resistance. This document is their first paper. It covers the following topics: 1) What is antimicrobial resistance, 2) The economic costs of drug-resistant infections, 3) Their research findings, 4) The secondary health effects of antibiotic resistance, and 5) Future work and cause for optimism.

A Smelly Problem: Manure Fertilization Causes Bloom of Antibiotic-Resistant Soil Bacteria

This report describes a Yale study that demonstrated that manure fertilization of soil causes antibiotic resistant bacteria to bloom. These bacteria did not originate in the manure, but were already present in the soil. These antibiotic resistant bacteria could migrate to humans by clinging to crops, especially root crops such as carrots.

The Potential Role Of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations In Infectious Disease Epidemics And Antibiotic Resistance

This paper addresses the increasing risk of new, more virulent strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria emerging from the prevalent use of nontherapeutic antimicrobial growth promotants in industrialized livestock production. The authors concur with the position of the World Health Organization that this use of antibiotics should be phased out and that all therapeutic antimicrobial agents for both human and animal use should be by prescription only. The issue of virulent strains of influenza arising from swine and poultry raised in close proximity is also addressed. (NOTE: This paper was written by a working group from the Conference on Environmental Health Impacts of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Anticipating Hazards-Searching for Solutions)

Environmental Health Impacts Of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Anticipating Hazards- Searching For Solutions

This paper reports on a scientific conference and workshop that was held in Iowa City, IA in March 2004. Environmental scientists from Europe and North America gathered to address the environmental health concerns associated with CAFOs. Five expert workgroups convened and created report that address the following key problem areas: water quality issues, respiratory health effects, modeling and monitoring of air toxics, influenza pandemics and antibiotic resistance, and socioeconomic and community health issues.

Adverse Health Effects Of Hog Production – A Literature Review

This article prepared by the Environmental Defense Fund reviews the scientific literature on the adverse health effects of hog production. It focuses on the impacts of air pollution, the contamination of ground water and well water, and the increasing development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Sunnyside Area Groundwater Contamination/ Evaluation of Antibiotic, Steroid Hormone & Nitrate Compounds in Groundwater Near Animal Feeding Operation

The health consultation is an approach used by ATSDR and IDOH to respond to requests from concerned residents for health information on hazardous substances in the environment. The health consultation process evaluates sampling data collected from a hazardous waste site, determines whether exposures have occurred or could occur, reports any potential harmful effects, and recommends actions to protect public health.

Community and environmental health effects of concentrated animal feeding operations

This paper is directed towards physicians who may be called upon to assess patients with CAFO related health concerns, or who may be “drawn into” CAFO related political battles. The author reviews the current research on the occupational, environmental and community related effects of CAFO’s, including occupational respiratory disease, groundwater contamination and antimicrobial resistance. Steps to decrease occupational and community exposure, as well as recommendations for evaluating patients are also discussed.


Antibiotic Resistance resources used with permission from the Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture.