walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Maryn McKenna covering MRSA in meat

I have a recurrent fascination with emerging disease/public health/food policy so I'm a little surprised I didn't notice McKenna's excellent reporting prior to today. But hey, better late than never. I ordered _Superbug_, and if I can somehow find a way to ignore what's on the Tivo, I may even read it; it'll almost certainly be better than _Little Bets_, which I want to like, but am sort of disappointed by.

This is what caught my eye over at google news:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/06/resistance-humans-chickens/

Great coverage of an elegant study in the Netherlands, which:

"has one of the lowest rates of human antibiotic resistance in the world, thanks to especially stringent infection control and drug-conservation policies. Paradoxically, it has the highest rate of antibiotic use in agriculture in Europe. As a result, when something starts to move into humans, it is easier to distinguish, because there is no “background noise” of high rates of hospital and community drug resistance such as there are in the US. And because there are no competing resistance factors from other sources, it is easier to identify and explain."

You should read McKenna's coverage of finding antibiotic resistant strains in chicken meat and people hospitalized with E coli. She is concise and accurate and has a pleasant authorial voice (strong without stridency); no summary of mine can do it justice. And while you're there, you should read some of her earlier reporting as well.
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