Non-organic chickens carrying E. coli may be responsible for increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women, the CDC warns. The bladder infections are difficult to treat because the superbugs which cause them are resistant to antibiotics.
"We found genetic similarities between E. coli from animals in abattoirs [slaughterhouses], principally chickens, and ExPEC [Extraintestinal Pathogenic E. coli] causing UTIs in humans. ExPEC transmission from food animals could be responsible for human infections, and chickens are the most probable reservoir," the CDC said in its report.
The National Chicken Council, a pro-poultry lobby, has responded to the warnings, saying E. coli does not originate in chickens that are fed antibiotics and changes to the use of antibiotics in poultry have no effect on the risks humans have to E.coli.
Antibiotics are fed to chickens to protect them from disease in compromised living circumstances. It also makes the chickens grow at unnatural rates.
by RTT Staff Writer
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