Study: Salmonella getting harder to fight

Published: Nov. 25, 2019 at 10:41 PM EST
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Days ahead of one of the biggest cooking holidays of the year, researchers say its getting harder to fight salmonella--that's according to a new study by Michigan State University.

If you eat a bad turkey dinner this Thanksgiving holiday, that tummy ache might linger longer than expected.

"The organisms are getting smarter. They're able to defeat more and more of the antibiotics that we have available," said James Rudrick, former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) director of infectious disease.

A new study released by MSU states a group of salmonella pathogens are getting more aggressive.

"Fifteen percent of the isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotic and there were some that were resistant to at least four different classes of antibiotics," Rudrick said.

Research shows there's a rise in antibiotic resistant strains that can cause longer hospital stays while doctors work to find the proper treatment.

"This is very concerning because clinicians and physicians might just run out of drugs to treat salmonella infections if a patient comes in to the hospital," said Sanjana Mukherjee, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration fellow.

Scientists discovered non-responsive cases are particularly growing in Michigan.

"The genes that cause resistance are spreading and the organisms are acquiring the ability to be resistant to more and more antibiotics and that makes it more difficult to treat people who have salmonella infections," Rudrick said.

"So if a bacteria is resistant to that we don't know what antibiotic to give to them," Mukherjee said.

Researchers say people living in rural areas are at a greater risk of infection due to possible exposure to farm animals and untreated water.

Health specialists say washing your hands and avoiding cross-contamination while preparing food can prevent the spread of food-borne illnesses.

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*Sanjana Mukrhee says her comments are her own does not reflect the FDA.

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