Do Penicillin-Based Drugs Administered To Food Animals Threaten Human Health?
Cox T, Popken DA, Mathers JJ*; Cox Associates and Alpharma, Inc. email@example.com Abstract: Penicillin-based drugs are used in food animals to treat, prevent, and control diseases and, less frequently, to promote growth and improve feed efficiency. Although most true foodborne zoonotic pathogenic infections (e.g., Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli 0157 types) are not treated with early-generation penicillins in humans, some strains of Enterococcus species are opportunist pathogens that may be resistant to multiple drugs, creating a health threat in hospitals. Thus, quantifying penicillin resistance risks for Enterococcus spp. may help inform concerns that penicillin drug usage in food animals could increase antibiotic resistance in human enterococcal infections, leading to increased hospitalization and mortality. This paper applies molecular epidemiological data and genetic clustering of enterococci from different sources to estimate a plausible upper bound on human health risks