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Foodborne bacteria may cause more than 500,000 UTIs in the US each year, study finds

Foodborne bacteria may cause more than 500,000 UTIs in the US each year, study finds



Meat-derived bacteria may be responsible for more than 500,000 urinary tract infections each year in the United States, says a new study.

E. coli is often a harmless bacterium that is “part of the normal bacterial environment in the intestines of humans and animals,” said Dr. Craig Comiter, professor of urology and obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University School of Medicine. says. He is participating in new research.

Some strains are dangerous, causing diarrhea, respiratory illness, and pneumonia. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers have long known the link between E. coli and urinary tract infections. infection Any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra; this bacterium causes 6 to 8 million UTIs in the United States each year.

However, new research suggests that more of these infections may be related to E. coli from meat than previously known.

Infections can occur when meat containing E. coli is not prepared with proper hygiene, passes through the digestive system and eventually exits the anus. easily enters the urinary system and causes infection, causing symptoms such as burning during urination, cloudy urine, and pelvic pain.

Women are 30 times more likely than men to get a urinary tract infection According to the Office of Women’s Health.

A study from the George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health analyzed data from retail meat samples collected between January 2012 and December 2012. At the same time, urine samples from people hospitalized for urinary tract infections in the area.

It took 10 years to analyze the data, including tracing the origin of E. coli, said co-author of the study, professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University and founder of George Washington Antibiotics. and co-director Lance Price, Ph.D. Resistance Action Center. However, the dominant strain of E. coli that existed in 2012 remains the same today.

Using findings and predictive models, researchers estimated that 8% (480,000 to 640,000 cases) of E. coli urinary tract infections in the United States each year may be caused by meat-derived strains. .

Researchers did not find E. coli in meat to increase the incidence of urinary tract infections. The findings simply explain why some infections occur.

“Even if you don’t have these bacteria, it doesn’t mean you’ll have 8% fewer infections,” Komiter said.

Urinary tract infection caused by E. coli if left untreated can lead to Problems such as permanent kidney damage, sepsis, and urethral strictures.

“Some people think of these as painful annoyances, but in reality, they’re the urinary tract, the bladder, which is actually the entrance to the blood,” Price said in a video released by George Washington University. It can be a very serious infection,” he said.

Once the infection enters the kidneys, it has access to the blood.

“The bladder is the primary entry point into a patient’s kidneys and bloodstream,” study author Cindy Liu, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University, said in a news release. increase.

Bloodstream infections are “very dangerous,” according to Price, and infections caused by E. coli kill 36,000 to 40,000 people in the United States each year.

Researchers are calling for more surveillance of raw meat pathogens found in grocery stores.

At home, you should wash your hands whenever you prepare or handle raw meat, and always use a separate area when cooking raw food.

The findings of this study also reveal another aspect of the problem. It’s an alarming rise in antibiotic-resistant infections. Most animals in the food industry are given antibiotics, but overuse of antibiotics in animals can lead to resistance, Comiter said.

Bacteria associated with meat are known to be particularly resistant to treatment, he said.

“It’s just the way animals are raised for food,” he said. “They’re trying to pass infections to each other, so they need antibiotics so they don’t die, so we have a good source of protein.”

However, resistant bacteria in meat can infect humans who eat it.

“As these bacteria become more and more resistant to antibiotics, more infections progress from the bladder to the kidneys to the blood, and unfortunately people die,” said Price. I got

Comiter thinks researchers should also look at the use of antibiotics in animals.

“Maybe we need to find a way to make burgers without giving animals too much antibiotics,” he said.




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