Joining the Resistance: Drug-immune microbes waft over hogs

11:44am, December 21, 2004

The air in a modern farm building contains many bacteria that are invulnerable to several antibiotics, according to a new report. The finding suggests that drug-resistant microbes can spread by air from animals to people.

Bacteria on farms develop resistance to antibiotics commonly used to accelerate growth of or prevent and treat infections, says environmental microbiologist Kellogg Schwab of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Those bacteria threaten public health, he says, because the same drugs or chemically related ones are administered to people.

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