The European Union (EU) took a precautionary step in 2006 to combat human antibiotic resistance. All EU countries banned antibiotic use as growth promoters in food animals.
Lowering the use of antibiotics in animal industry will be another step to lower prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment and in human infections, Zurek said, but because antibiotic resistance in human infections is such a serious global health problem that has led to higher patient mortality rates, prolonged hospitalization and increased healthcare costs, it needs to be tackled from many angles.
“Clearly, pest management and trying to minimize the pest populations on farms and outside of the farms is one way,” he said. “House flies aren’t just a nuisance. They can carry antibiotic resistant bacteria, so they should be taken seriously as a vector.”