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How bacteria passes from animal to human

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can pass from animals to humans in a number of ways. The most prevalent route is believed to be through humans eating infected meat that has not been correctly prepared or cooked – as with salmonella. The meat becomes infected at the slaughter stage. Contracting bacterial infections such as salmonella is bad enough when there are effective antibiotics to treat the infection, but they are a real danger when a class of antibiotics is ineffective.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria may pass from animal to human through the handling of farm animals, manure, water, food equipment or soil that has been contaminated with the bacteria. The most likely candidate for this is, obviously, the farm worker, who is in daily contact with these substances. The farm worker may then pass the bacteria on to their family members, and others in their community.

Vegetables and fruit that are consumed can also become contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This can occur if animal waste that contains the bacteria is spread onto agricultural fields of fruit or vegetables. Animal waste contains substantial amounts of bacteria, and because only approximately 25% of an antibiotic is digested by an animal, the waste may also contain antibiotics; therefore this combination is a perfect breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Animal waste has also been discovered in surface water, ground water and sea water.

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