A 17-year-old student in New Zealand has discovered antibiotic resistant bacteria that could be difficult to treat in humans… in a bunch of grocery store chickens.
The key finding was that the bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics not used in the poultry industry but important for treating serious infections in humans.
Scientists are calling for further investigation and the discovery is about to be published in the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science’s journal.
Millar’s chicken experiment began as part of an International Baccalaurette Diploma during her Year 13 last year.
She bought six fresh chickens – free-range, barn-raised and organic – from a Christchurch supermarket. She took samples from each bird and grew bug colonies, which she used to test different antibiotics.
The bacteria in two chickens proved to be resistant not only to antibiotics used in the poultry industry, but to antibiotics used to treat infections in humans. Ick.