antibiotics

A germ that can't be treated with an antibiotic that is often used as the last resort has shown up for the first time in the United States.

Government scientists say the case is cause for serious concern but doesn't pose any immediate public health threat.

The germ was discovered in a 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania with a urinary tract infection. The infection was caused by E. coli bacteria that had a gene that made them resistant to an antibiotic known as colistin.

If you go by their declarations and promises, meat producers are drastically cutting back on the use of antibiotics to treat their poultry, pigs and cattle. Over the past year, one big food company after another has announced plans to stop using these drugs.

But if you go by the government's data on drugs sold to livestock producers, it's a different story.

www.nlm.nih.gov

Kentucky is the top state in the country for antibiotic over-use according to a new study from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy. Antibiotic over-use can cause some infections to become resistant to treatment. Dr. Ramanan Laxminaryan is director of the CDDEP’s Extending the Cure project.