Hyderabad: Colistin-resistant bacteria have been found in samples of vegetables picked up from different markets in South India.
What is Colistin?
It is an antibiotic used to treat certain infections in humans. It use in farming and will affect the efficacy of the drug when used in humans.
It is widely used in the Indian Poultry industry.
Some samples were collected for testing for a study by the Apollo Hospitals. Resistance to colistin showed up in 46.4 per cent of samples of tomatoes and other green vegetables.
This was a random sampling, but now more samples are being collected to check the use of the drug in farming.
The National Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan committee of the Indian Council of Medical Research has recommended to the Government of India that the use of colistin should be banned in poultry farms.
Dr K.K. Aggarwal, a cardiologist explains that “Colistin is called holy water in the practice of medicine. Resistance to colistin is already an issue in clinical practice. It was mostly suspected to be in chicken but now with raw samples being tested, the presence of resistant bacteria means that it is finding its way into the vegetable farm sector.”
The research on antibiotic resistance is at beginning stage as there is only an understanding at the clinical level when the antibiotic drugs stop working.
But how the cellular and molecular process in the human body cause this resistance is still not understood properly. For this reason, antibiotics must be very sparingly used.
“We need a multi-pronged strategy as the use of antibiotics has to be reduced in humans and also in poultry farms. It has to be a simultaneous effort to control the rampant misuse of antibiotics,” said Dr P. Menon, a senior microbiologist.
Farmers and the food industry must stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.”