Yes, adding antibiotics to animal feed can spur the development of super-bugs.
“It’s like watching the birth of a superbug,” says Lance Price of the Translational Genomics Research Institute, or TGen, in Flagstaff, Arizona.
“Initially we could always trace it back to livestock exposure,” Price says. “But now we are starting to see cases of resistant strains that we can’t trace back. So we think it may be changing gears, so to speak, and gaining the capacity to be passed from person to person.”
Price says the new data provide an early warning of what might become a major public health problem. ”We’re seeing this one coming,” he says. “The question is how often will this occur in the future if we don’t start controlling antibiotic use?”
Additional info (28 Feb 2012)
Further comment (4 Jan 2013)