Farm to table: colistin resistance hitchhiking through food
Colistin is a high priority, last-resort antibiotic recklessly used in livestock and poultry farms. It is used as an antibiotic for treating multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections as well as a growth promoter in poultry and animal farms. The sub-therapeutic doses of colistin exert a selection pressure on bacteria leading to the emergence of colistin resistance in the environment. Colistin resistance gene, mcr are mostly plasmid-mediated, amplifying the horizontal gene transfer. Food products such as chicken, meat, pork etc. disseminate colistin resistance to humans through zoonotic transfer. The antimicrobial residues used in livestock and poultry often leaches to soil and water through faeces. This review highlights the recent status of colistin use in food-producing animals, its association with colistin resistance adversely affecting public health.
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