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Research warns of bacteria health risks

Issue: 16/07/2021

New research has warned of an “international public health risk” after finding antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a range of different types of dog food.
In a press release researchers from the University of Porto said, ‘The trend for feeding dogs raw food may be fuelling the spread of antibiotic resistant-bacteria.’ Their study was presented to the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases.
Separate research at the same conference found resistance to a last-resort antibiotic may be passing between pet dogs and their owners.
In the study the team analysed 55 samples of dog foods from 25 brands looking for Enterococci bacteria.
The bacteria can live in human and canine intestines harmlessly but it can be dangerous in other parts of the body and can be resistant to antibiotics.
Samples from raw dog food were found to contain antibiotic-resistant Enterococci including bacteria resistant to last-resort bacteria.
Researcher Ana Freitas said, ‘The close contact of humans with dogs and the commercialisation of the studied brands in different countries poses an international public health risk. European authorities must raise awareness about the potential health risks when feeding raw diets to pets and the manufacture of dog food, including ingredient selection and hygiene practices, must be reviewed.’
She added that dog owners should wash their hands after handling pet food and disposing of faeces.
Drug-resistant infections kill an estimated 700,000 people a year globally and the UN has warned that could rise to 10 million by 2050 if no action is taken.

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