Scientists warn that superbugs discovered in raw dog food pose a ‘public health risk’

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Scientists warn that superbugs discovered in raw dog food pose a ‘public health risk’

Scientists warn that superbugs discovered in raw dog food pose a ‘public health risk’

  • Researchers have uncovered evidence that some raw dog food products contain bacteria that are resistant to many types of antibiotics commonly used to treat diseases.
  • All 14 food samples tested contained drug-resistant forms of enterococci
  • The price includes only 3 of 41 other dog foods, including wet foods, dry foods and treats

feed According to scientists, a modern diet of raw meat poses a public health risk due to a threat from potentially dangerous superbugs.

Giving raw meat to pets has grown in popularity because owners believe it mimics a dog’s natural diet and is better than cooked or processed pet foods.

But researchers have uncovered evidence that some raw dog food products contain bacteria that are resistant to many types of antibiotics commonly used to treat diseases in humans.

All 14 samples of raw dog food tested contained drug-resistant forms of Enterococcus, a type of bacteria found in the animals’ intestines.

Tests on samples of 41 other dog foods, including wet food, dry food and treats, found that only three contained antibiotic-resistant intestinal bacteria, but 16 contained strains of bacteria that were not resistant to antibiotics.

Researchers have uncovered evidence that some raw dog food products contain bacteria that are resistant to many types of antibiotics commonly used to treat diseases in humans. Image: stock

Usually harmless if confined to the intestines, enterococci can wreak havoc in other parts of the human body, even causing sepsis.

In a separate study, scientists found that the gene that confers bacteria resistance to another important antibiotic is passed on from pets to humans.

The results of the two studies will be presented this weekend to the European Conference on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

“Close contact between humans and dogs … poses an international public health risk,” said Dr. Anna Freitas, from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Porto in Portugal, who led the research on dog food.

She added: “Authorities should raise awareness about the potential health risks when feeding raw diets to pets. Dog food manufacturing should be reviewed, including selection of ingredients and hygiene practices.”

The raw dog food samples, which included uncooked salmon, chicken, turkey, lamb and beef, contained strains of enterococci that were resistant to common antibiotics.

Tests on samples of 41 other dog foods, including wet food, dry food and treats, found that only three contained antibiotic-resistant intestinal bacteria, but 16 contained strains of

Tests on samples of 41 other dog foods, including wet food, dry food and treats, found that only three contained antibiotic-resistant intestinal bacteria, but 16 contained strains of bacteria that were not resistant to antibiotics. Image: stock

Nearly a quarter of them were resistant to linezolid, a “last resort” antibiotic often used only when other drugs have failed.

The raw samples tested were from two unnamed brands of dog food sold in Portugal.

Meanwhile, veterinarians at the University of Lisbon found that eight of the 102 dogs tested, along with four out of 126 human owners, harbored a bacterium with a gene that makes insects resistant to colistin, another “last resort” antibiotic.

This means that pets may act as “reservoirs” for the gene and spread resistance to colistin.

Heidi Maskelen, of British pet food company ProDog Raw, which conducts strict bacterial checks, said owners should choose a reputable source of pet food.

“Why are you feeding your dog substandard food?” She asked.

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