Antibiotic resistant superbugs or bacteria may get transmitted to the humans upon eating plant foods, which could in turn pose severe health risks for the public, as per a new study.
The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Southern California (USC), reveals how the plant foods act as a vehicle to spread antibiotic resistance in the gut microbiome.
For the study, the researchers conducted an experiment on mice and noticed that the antibiotic superbugs hid successfully in the intestines of mice that were fed with lettuce which was contaminated with antibiotic-resistant superbug of E coli.
According to study lead author and a researcher at USC, Marlene Maeusli, differences in the bacteria’s ability to colonise the gut microbiome silently were observed after ingestion, based on an array of bacterial factors and host.
Unlike the diarrhoeal diseases caused instantly after the humans consume contaminated veggies, the antibiotic superbugs can remain hidden in the intestines of humans for months or in fact years before causing an illness, suggests the study.
The study was presented at the annual meet of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe 2019.
Notably, around 2mn cases of antibiotic resistance illnesses take place in the US each year, with 20% of these associated to agriculture, as per estimates provided by the CDC.