Antibiotic-resistant superbug found in raw squid raises new concerns


Isn’t this specific to South Korean imports? Why not temporarily ban them? I realize it is not a complete solution and that the product is already in the wild, but why allow more in?

“Researchers in Canada have discovered one of the deadliest kind of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for the first time in a food product . . . The organism found in the squid, Pseudomonas fluorescens, probably would not make a healthy person sick, Rubin said.”

I am having trouble reconciling those two statements.

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From Wired:

The issue isn’t that the bacterium is going
to cause a foodborne illness immediately; the bacteria carrying this
gene was not a disease-causing variety. Rather, the concern is that the
DNA conferring this resistance passes from this bacterium into the vast
colony of diverse bacteria that live in your gut for your entire life,
becoming incorporated into your gut flora and posing a risk of
drug-resistant illness at some future point when the balance of your
immune system slips.

Right–I get how it might cause problems. But calling this “one of the deadliest kind of antibiotic-resistant bacteria” seems misleading.

On the other hand, I guess it’s misleading in a good cause if it gets people to stop saturating everything on the planet with antibiotics.

It won’t make you “sick”, but it is the start of the zombie apocalypse…
Application of antibiotics to Subject Z:

Well, I’ve learned two things here:

  • What Odori-don is
  • How to Gif-jack a thread
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Just a side note: The product may not already be “in the wild”. Only one squid in package showed contamination, and the source of the contamination is unknown. It’s possible that it was contaminated in plant handling by a human. So without more info, they can’t know if a ban is even needed.

The reason that finding this type of contamination in food is such a concern is that it hasn’t been found there previously. Normally, antibiotic-resistant bacteria come from infected people and places where they are cared for, so it coming from a human (not the ocean) makes the most sense.

The CDC report made this suggestion, “Finding a carbapenemase-producing organism in food in North America creates an urgent need to expand tracking and monitoring (surveillance) of these organisms.” It also acknowledged that because South Korea was probably the source of the squid, that location should now be considered more of a hazard for travel for anyone who is immuno-compromized.


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