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Seagulls Spreading Resistant Bacteria On Beaches

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the just-when-you-thought-it-was-safe-to-go-into-the-water dept.

Medicine 94

bs0d3 writes "Dr. Patrice Nordmann has disclosed the results of a small study that looked for resistant bacteria in seagull poop landing on Miami Beach in Florida. During April 2010, they collected 52 stool samples and found within them 83 isolates of gut bacteria such as E. coli. Wired's Maryn McKenna writes, 'Seven of the E. coli carried genes that direct production of CTX-M enzymes, a troublesome resistance factor that protects bacteria from the very broad category of drugs called extended-spectrum beta-lactams and that has recently spread worldwide. In addition, 14 of the E. coli were also carrying the gene for the CMY-2 enzyme, which confers the same ESBL resistance on Salmonella. Nine of the isolates were multi-drug resistant.' This has led some scientists to the conclusion that this is one avenue these bacterias are taking in human infections worldwide. The resistance factors identified in the seagull feces match ones that cause highly resistant infections in humans, and correlate with data collected on beaches in Portugal, Sweden, and France."

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so... (2)

planimal (2454610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436374)

don't eat seagull poo? check

Re:so... (3, Informative)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436388)

Unfortunately, not quite as simple as that. Seagulls like to crap on your hair, if no one points it out to you then there's a chance you could get infected while running your fingers through your hair and then licking them.

Re:so... (2)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436458)

I've never had the desire to lick my hands after running them through my hair....nor have I ever been sh1t on by a bird. On the other hand my car has taken a pounding from time to time. Of course, I don't lick my hands after I rub them all over my car either. Hmmmm, come to think of it, I never have rubbed my hands all over my car.

Re:so... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436730)

Good God, man, break out of your shell! Live! Live! Caress your car! Fondle your hair! Lick your fingers!

Re:so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37439382)

Hmmmm, come to think of it, I never have rubbed my hands all over my car.

I've gotten laid in my car, but never had my car make love to me. It has however, fucked me many times.

Re:so... (1)

Nox3173 (1495587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440220)

Kids put their fingers in their eyes and mouth all the time. Sometimes on accident sometimes not.

Just sayin...

Perhaps it's not necessary to treat animals with antibiotics all the fucking time, hmm?

Re:so... (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37442516)

I know, it was meant to be funny, but I guess it didn't come across that way. Kids, yes, but I never saw any adults rub their hands through their hair and go on to licking their hands. As an adult(and when I was a kid) I frequently wash my hands. Not obsessive, but after I use the restroom and definitely before I sit down to eat something, even if it is not finger food. When my son is with me I make sure he washes his hands too. I guess the dirty ones will die...oh well. Someone always said genocide will happen, but who'd of though by birds? Alfred Hitchcock anyone?

Re:so... (1)

Nox3173 (1495587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37443590)

:) I missed the humor. My fault, not yours. Was recently listening to a podcast about the state of genetically modified & antibiotic infused foods and I guess it took a bit out of my funny bone on the subject. Companies doing irresponsible things get my goat a bit. Sorry! :(

It is kinda funny they tested seagull poo, I never would have thought to do that. My daughters and I love feeding them by where we live - abandoned grocery store parking lot - but we stay in the car to prevent getting shat on.

Re:so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436534)

Unfortunately, not quite as simple as that. Seagulls like to crap on your hair, if no one points it out to you then there's a chance you could get infected while running your fingers through your hair and then licking them.

You'd run your fingers through your hair, get bird poop on them, and then lick them?

Good for you.

In other news, life is risky. There are lots of other forms of like trying to eat you.

Re:so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436728)

Unfortunately, not quite as simple as that. Seagulls like to crap on your hair, if no one points it out to you then there's a chance you could get infected while running your fingers through your hair and then licking them.

Coming from somebody with the name "turkeyfeathers", I take that comment as a threat. Or an insult to how stupid humans can be. Or both.

Natural predator (1)

rednip (186217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436766)

What we need to do is find a natural predator for the pigeons, that is besides kids with alka-seltser tablets, they don't seem to be doing their job too well at that; Which is a good thing as animal cruelty is a sort of predicate to serial killers. May I suggest that we introduce the Bolivian tree lizard to our ecosystem, as it likes to eat the common pigeon, or at that's what I learned from the Principal of Springfield Elementary.

Re:Natural predator (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437772)

And what should we use then to get rid of Bolivian tree lizards?

Re:Natural predator (1)

rednip (186217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37438470)

I'd continue with the obvious Simpson's meme, but after writing it, I'm finding that I'm interesting in finding out which natural predator would work best for many consider pests. From what I hear, hawks are pretty good with pigeons. I'd guess installing a few nests in some of the high rises (non- beach facing, and without a nearby terrace), maybe we could find a natural balance. Or will the hawks start coming after your kid's hot dog for the easy meal?

Re:Natural predator (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448576)

I have a friend who is into hawking (hawk hunting). He says that hawks are notoriously picky, it's not likely that they'll be able to live in urban settings.

He says that the best bet are daytime-adapted owls.

Re:so... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37452804)

This reminds me of story a friend of mine once shared with me. When he was younger, he owned a pet flying squirrel. One day, he was holding it in one hand while he reached for a Taco Bell soft taco with the other. He was busy talking with his sister that moment and proceeded to lick the brown gravy running down his arm. He said it tasted bitter and noticed the shock and horrifying look on her face. Apparently he licked the wrong arm, and that wasn't the gravy he was looking for.

Dang! (4, Funny)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436404)

I guess I should stop hunting these free-range seagulls for food. I've heard the farm-raised variety is tastier anyway, but I haven't yet found a cheap supplier.

Disclaimer: I work for a major fast food chain...

Re:Dang! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436466)

Note that this study sampled waste droppings, not meat.

(Wait, fast food chain. Never mind then. :P )

Re:Dang! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437202)

Well I don't eat the waste droppings or the beach sand that it lands on. Nor the gulls for that matter.
And neither does anyone else.

It hardly warrants the conclusion "this is one avenue these bacterias are taking in human infections worldwide".

Re:Dang! (2)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437802)

There's something called rain and runoff. Seagull shit gets to more places than just where you see the dropping.

Re:Dang! (2)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437978)

You seem to be missing the fact that there are these things called "Children". They have a tendency to play in the sand that the seagulls poop in, and also have a tendency to put their hands in their mouths.

More seriously, all sorts of people touch the sand at the beach, and many of them eat food at the beach after touching the sand, and not washing their hands.

Re:Dang! (2)

Plunky (929104) | more than 2 years ago | (#37438448)

More seriously, all sorts of people touch the sand at the beach, and many of them eat food at the beach after touching the sand, and not washing their hands.

Even more seriously, what is commonly known as seagulls are not restricted to beach areas and are not really even sea gulls as you don't see them very far out to sea. Instead, they live all over the country here (UK) and are known for being vicious scavengers who will even attack humans in the street for their food.

I read that the Faroese have a good recipe for seagull

Re:Dang! (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37439256)

Yes, many of your schools in California are infested with seagulls, and I was attacked in my youth at one of them.

Re:Dang! (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37439264)

Oops. OUR schools.

Re:Dang! (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436472)

I hear squab is cheap...

Re:Dang! (2)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436512)

you should go snipe hunting, they are tasty little birds

Re:Dang! (1)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436568)

you should go snipe hunting, they are tasty little birds

Be careful with this advice, people. I tried that, and the nasty little buggers chewed right through my tennis shoes and gave me some nasty scars before I could whack them to death. Those things are evil, depraved spawns of the devil himself. You only hunt them if you're strong, fast, and scared of nothing. And I mean nothing.

But heck, if it weren't for snipes, Iowa would be truly boring. Everyone there has a good story about them, as if it's a rite of passage. Me? I'll stick to my seagulls, thank you.

On topic - Seagull Issue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436644)

1.) Once You Pop, You Canâ(TM)t Stop

Oleastra, a.k.a Olean, a.k.a âoeUnwashable and Indestructible Ass Greaseâ is found in numerous âoelightâ and âoefat-freeâ potato chips. An indigestible molecule, it inhibits the absorption of vitamins and minerals causing abdominal cramping, loose stools, gas, and perhaps most notoriouslyâ"anal leakage. Yet, despite its infamous reputation, the Olean Web site reports that over five billion servings of the fart maker have been served ⦠and continue to be served. No wonder Pringles Fat Free Chips are in the same aisle as the adult diapers.

2.) Becky, Look at Her Butt (⦠did she sit on a piece of pizza?)

The diet drug Orlistat (Xenical) works much in the same way Olestra doesâ"by blocking absorption of fat. But when you eat half a tub of fried chicken, the grease has to go somewhere; that somewhere is usually your underwear, or if youâ(TM)re lucky, the toilet. According to the makers of Alli, the over-the-counter form of Orlistat, you may experience âoeoily spottingâ and âoeloose stoolsâ and may recognize the undigested fat in your toilet because it âoelooks like the oil on top of a pizza.â We canâ(TM)t say we werenâ(TM)t warned ⦠but pizza? Whyâ(TM)d they have to go there?

3.) Hook, Line, and Stinker

Escolar, sometimes sold or served under the name Hawaiian walu, butterfish, and super white tuna, is a deliciously light and buttery fish with one small problem. It contains large amounts of gempylotoxin, a waxy ester that sometimes causes the consumer to have abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and a telltale orange oily mess that destroys undergarments and dignity. In 1992, the FDA advised against supplying the problematic fish, but the agency has since relaxed its provisions. Escolar (and a related species with similar consequences, oilfish) is available in restaurants. Since the fish doesnâ(TM)t cause the negative ramifications for everyone, ordering it is like playing Russian roulette ⦠with your bowels.

4.) Too Good to Be Poo

Damned sugar-free candies. I was halfway through the bag before I read the warning (small, on the back, carefully worded): âoeConsumption may cause stomach discomfort and/or a laxative effect.â This should really read: âoeConsumption may cause your abdomen to extend as if volleyball had inserted itself there, and may cause a whining and hissing noise to emanate from bowels before a prolonged and painful bought of terrible flatulence.â Sure, sorbitol, and other sugar alcohols like xylitol and mannitol, may have fewer calories, but itâ(TM)s not really worth it if you have to spend the rest of the day quarantined. A laxative in a candyâ"someone is having a really good laugh at my expense.

5.) The Juice Is Loose

Used for decades as a natural laxative, a tablespoon of mineral, castor, or jojoba oil will result in loose stools; a few tablespoons more and youâ(TM)ve got yourself a problem. The indigestible oils may be cheaper than a bag of fat-free potato chips, but arenâ(TM)t as much fun going down.

Re:Dang! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437116)

Now I know what part the nugget comes from...

Re:Dang! (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437366)

But they still make good target practice. I'd like to see the bacteria resistant to birdshot.

Or, come to think of it, I *wouldn't* like to see the bacteria resistant to birdshot... (shudder)

never liked them (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436414)

flying rats. they all should be destroyed

hairless apes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436734)

Never really making this world a better place. They should all be destroyed.

Re:hairless apes (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437006)

I guess your mother is safe then.

Re:hairless apes (3, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437624)

Both comments are equally ignorant. It is arguable that we are the universe attempting to understand itself. That is perhaps one of the highest possible destinies of space time. That said, most human beings barely aspire to know more than which way to put their underwear on (that and how to mate, endlessly.) We only hate seagulls and rats because they are intelligent and are successful in human shaped environments.

Let's get clear about this. The existence of resistant bacteria is the result of indiscriminate use of antibiotics by lazy, greedy, self serving aggro-businesses and government regulatory bodies with neither the power nor the mandate to protect our local (let alone global) environment from vast degradation by multinational corporations. This is just one more item on a list that now more than anything else resembles one of those giant cheese wheels of toilet paper unrolled. Blaming birds for this is like blaming rats for the black death in Europe. Europeans killed all the cats and old ladies because they thought they were in league with the devil. They lived in places of extreme crowding and pitiful sanitation. The rats overpopulated, the rat fleas bit both humans and rats and both became reservoirs for plague. In the end 1 in 3 people died and it was people who hand made a disaster through ignorance, superstition and acting against their own best interest. Wow, things haven't really changed all that much in 500 years.

Re:hairless apes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437748)

Saying the words spacetime does not confer you any kind of special status or make you look like some kind of brilliant world renowned physicist. Only a wannabe trekkie. Obviously the other two posters realize that you can't just kill all seagulls, anyone with half a brain would. By taking them seriously and trying to make an argument about it, you've shown that you lack a sense of humor...

Some things will never change. Nerds will always lack a sense of humor. People will always try to throw random larger than thou metaphors in to make themselves sound important, smart or philosophical, but at the end of it all the people doing it, like the church in yesteryear are still charlatans.

Re:hairless apes (3, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#37438006)

Dude get a clue, hell, rent one, they're cheap, its the 21rst century... I figure kindergarteners have heard about space-time, if that's your signal for condescending you seriously need to consider a few night courses. The ideas proffered have been common conversations for magazines and science programs from PBS to the Discovery Channel (you do know how to read... yes?) If this is what passes for pedantic in your eyes, then I'm afraid it says a lot more about you than it does about me. As for being a charlatan, for the love o' Jebus go Google something (anything) before venting such profound ignorance.

I'm sorry you missed the point of what I was saying, that human beings and seagulls both belong. That the problem isn't seagulls and never has been. That all life can and should be respected and that people need to take responsibility for the stupid, shitty, shoddy crap they inflict on the planet and one another. If I wasn't laughing it was because this is one of the biggest threats we'll face this century. Diseases that we made indestructible because some idiot thought it might increase the yield of his cattle herd by 0.04%. Please, feel free, I'd love to hear a good resistant infection joke. Heard the one about the guy walking down the street with the red, running, pustulent sores? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Re:hairless apes (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37438234)

Actually I'd say the bigger problem is all the run off getting into the oceans. Run off gets into oceans, little fish eat run off, big fish eat little fish, seagull eats big fish, it don't really sound like a case for Kojak here.

I think we really need to be worried about the core cause of all this resistance which is the agro-business pumping everything that breathes full of antibiotics to increase yields. We need to be saving antibiotics for humans, cut off all tax breaks and subsidies for farms that refuse to quit using antibiotics, basically if there ever was a job for regulation THIS would be the one.

Sadly since Citizens United they could be feeding the cows Soylent Green for all the congress critters are gonna care as they get their big fat checks free and legal now. How sad is it when the only real hope of doing anything about this corrupt mess lies in the hands of a couple of comedians, aka Colbert and Stewart? I guess the days of Woodward and Bernstein and real hard hitting reporters are long gone now.

But one of these days one of these nasties is gonna find a way to really spread through the population and we'll get to have another black plague, and in large part it will be due to nothing but greed and the endless drive for higher profits. Why is it I can't even muster up any outrage anymore? this kind of evil BS is so ingrained in the system now I can't even build up a hearty "meh" about it anymore. Just another way greed is cocking things up for everyone, shock gasp surprise.

Re:hairless apes (1)

Caesar Tjalbo (1010523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37447824)

But one of these days one of these nasties is gonna find a way to really spread through the population

I think the problem is that it doesn't matter how nasty they are because we don't have an effective counter-measure anymore. Spreading through the population is a worry of course but the cost of preventive measures, say for hospitals and food, will probably have become too high long before another 'black death' or 'Spanish flu' decimates humanity.

Re:hairless apes (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37438976)

aggro-businesses

Anyone else get an image of skinheads in pinstripe suits?

Re:never liked them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437292)

Go to a fast food joint. Buy a large fries. Find a very busy road.

Get gulls used to eating fries as you toss them away from traffic. A nearby parking lot is good for this. Once they flock in droves after every fry tossed, then it's on to the busy road part. I'm sure you can figure the rest out. Make a game of it and have fun.

Re:never liked them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37438684)

Flying rats spread sickness.
Film at 11.

Landfills (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436450)

Open-air landfills, leftovers, old prescriptions, and seagulls. Yep.

With the exception of earthquakes and meteor strikes, all problems can be traced to human overpopulation.

Re:Landfills (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436578)

With the exception of earthquakes and meteor strikes, all problems can be traced to human overpopulation.

The bigger the population, the greater chance that earthquake or meteor will strike someone.

Re:Landfills (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436582)

Open-air landfills, leftovers, old prescriptions, and seagulls. Yep.

With the exception of earthquakes and meteor strikes, all problems can be traced to human overpopulation.

Your misanthropy is astounding. Why do you separate humanity from nature, and in such a negative manner? Human actions are no more nor no less unnatural than a meteor strike.

If humanity is truly such a negative, one less person would make the entire universe a better place. So why the hell haven't you offed yourself yet?

Oh? You're an unthinking hyprocrite spouting misanthropic garbage that you think sounds profound but is really about as deep as a parking lot puddle?

Re:Landfills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437126)

Geez, i think he touched a nerve!

Re:Landfills (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437818)

Just as likely that they picked it up from some raw meat in a landfill or somebody's garbage pile. Think about it... Raw meat from somebody's BBQ harboring the antibiotic-resistant bacteria gets eaten by seagulls. The bacteria hitch a ride in seagulls and end up in poop.

Re:Landfills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37439534)

Actually, earthquakes could be, too [rt.com] .

"colaberates" ? (2, Insightful)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436462)

Not only misspelled, but it's the wrong word for the job.

Humans (for now) working together collaborate.

Data from disparate sources corroborate.

Did the spell-checker take the weekend off?

Re:"colaberates" ? (1, Informative)

slashjunkie (800216) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436540)

Not only that, but "bacterias" is an interesting new take on a word that is already plural...

One bacterium, many bacteria.

Is it time to start teaching Latin again in schools?

Re:"colaberates" ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436580)

I think the word might be like fish. "Fish" referring to an individual is singular. "Fish" referring to many individuals of the same species is plural. "Fishes" refers to many individuals of various kinds. Just a guess.

Re:"colaberates" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436614)

Is it time to start teaching Latin again in schools?

Don't know about your school district, by the ones around here are. I don't know when our schools started offering it, but it's been a choice since before my children could take it; though my children opted for Spanish and Chinese.

Ironic: my captcha is 'deprived'.

Re:"colaberates" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437100)

There's definitely a pattern to the captchas, mine was infants. Deprived, and now infants. What's slashdot trying to tell us?

Re:"colaberates" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437398)

It's telling you to mate!

captcha indolent (and this is the problem, yo)

Re:"colaberates" ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436778)

What spellchecker? This is slashdot.

Re:"colaberates" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437308)

It's actually a new word, a mix of corroborate and correlate:
Corrabelate, but the submitter made a typo and inverted the 'r' and 'l', which gives collaberate.

I was just joking but it make sense somehow.

Re:"colaberates" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437704)

Shaddup, hippy

This just in.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436522)

...feces carries bacteria. News at 11.

Re:This just in.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436566)

It is just like the AIDS in the 80s. Even before AIDS, it was widely known that unprotected sex carried high risk of disease, but all of it was treatable, so people didn't think much of it. Then HIV spread, and things changed somewhat.

Re:This just in.... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436862)

The news isn't that. The news is that bacteria with some degree of antibiotic resistance are so common that they are showing up in a logical; but not closely linked to hospitals, livestock feedlots, or overmedicated humans, disease vector...

You can find bacteria pretty much wherever you want, and feces usually has its share of pathogens; but time was when you had to go actively hunting, and in the right places, to find antibiotic resistance at any significant level.

Gee a bird that shits all over the place (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436554)

spreads bacteria

NO FUCKING SHIT SLASHDOT

news at 10: The ocean is salty

Re:Gee a bird that shits all over the place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436648)

spreads bacteria

NO FUCKING SHIT SLASHDOT

news at 10: The ocean is salty

Now THAT is ironic.

Guess we'll just have to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436624)

Impose local, state and federal regulation on seagulls. Any seagull that poops on the beach gets fined $50 or 3 days in jail and gets six points on their license to fly. Repeat offenders get their license revoked for 12 months.

Or we can have lifeguards start giving out hazmat suits...

Enough already. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436628)

the results of a small study that looked for resistant bacteria in seagull poop landing on Miami Beach in Florida

OK guys, I've got enough reasons never to visit Florida.

You can stop now. Huge cockroaches, rednecks and Rick Scott were sufficient, thank you.

Re:Enough already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437004)

the cops down there are a real hoot too

run away, run away

Re:Enough already. (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440120)

My wife pestered me to move us to the Denver area from Virginia due to the heat and humidity and the really bad traffic. I lived in the DC area for 30 years before we finally moved. We've been here 8 years and now she wants us to move to Florida.

Not happening.

[John]

bamb bamb (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436780)

How many feckin-A disease-spreading bytchwing seagulls can you blast outa the sky with a pair of 12-gauge hi-brass #4s? What fun !

Re:bamb bamb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437194)

Maybe you should stay indoors and play Duck Hunt!

"colaberates" (0)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436892)

The resistance factors identified in the seagull feces match ones that cause highly resistant infections in humans, and colaberates with data collected on beaches in Portugal, Sweden, and France.

Even if you'd spelled that word correctly, if still wouldn't represent the intention. Substituting "correlates" actually tells people what you meant.

Re:"colaberates" (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451888)

Criticizing poor proofreading of article submissions is NOT "offtopic".

The quality of the moderation at this site needs some proofreading or oversight as well. There appears to be an excess of kneejerk bad-attittude tribalistic jerks that have access to it. They're poisoning the well.

Where does the bacteria come from ? (2)

zzyzyx (1382375) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437206)

Where did the seagulls pick up the bacteria in the first place? I thought these bacteria were found only in hospitals. Maybe we should be more careful with our medical waste and not dump it unprocessed in landfills.

Re:Where does the bacteria come from ? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437256)

Hospitals have toilets.
Hospital poop contains antibiotics.
Toilets flush with water.
The seas are filled with water.
Seagulls live by the sea.

Cow poop from industrial farms contains antibiotics.
Runoff from industrial cattle farms ends up in the river.
The river runs to the sea.
Seagulls live by the sea.

Maybe we should take a look at ways to not put antibiotics into our water.

Re:Where does the bacteria come from ? (5, Informative)

manu0601 (2221348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437310)

Cattle is given preemptive antibiotics treatment. This makes its guts bacteria always resistant to the antiobiotics used. Perhaps we could stop selecting drug resistant bacteria there.

Re:Where does the bacteria come from ? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437286)

Where did the seagulls pick up the bacteria in the first place? I thought these bacteria were found only in hospitals. Maybe we should be more careful with our medical waste and not dump it unprocessed in landfills.

You know those beady eyes that you see behind the surgical masks at hospitals? You think they're human, don't you?

Think again.

The Birds, they are killing us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437346)

See, Hitchcock was right!

Don't eat gull poop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37437454)

Well, I suppose the moral of the story is not to mistake gull poop for ice cream.

We May Joke, But Don't Miss The Point. (4, Interesting)

smpoole7 (1467717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437824)

The point, as someone else has mentioned here, is that these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. Given that we don't normally treat wild birds with antibiotics, this is actually kind of troublesome.

This is probably due to the widespread prophylactic use of antibiotics in the feed given to farm animals, a practice that needs to be stopped (or at least sharply curtailed). Some antibiotics should be reserved only for use in humans, and then limited to cases where other antibiotics have proven ineffective.

The problem is that the drug companies make so much money off of selling the antibiotics to the feed suppliers, they're not exactly eager to stop doing it. So every time they develop a new "miracle" antibiotic, at the same time that your doctor is prescribing it for an ear infection, a lot full or cows, chickens or pigs somewhere a few miles away is also eating that antibiotic in its feed.

Re:We May Joke, But Don't Miss The Point. (1)

kanto (1851816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37438594)

Requires government oversight so that kills it for the US and the "free" world. The problem with these shortsighted practices is that there are fucktards in high places who hide behind assinine arguments where micro and macro swap places; surely giving porky antibiotics can't cause a global epidemic or a person driving any distance longer then their driveway can't cause global warming etc. Unless there is a working system of electroshock therapy (fines) and incentives (subsidies if doing the right thing) the issue won't solve itself.

I wonder how we ever managed to get rid of CFCs, but what doesn't surprise me is the fact that people conveniently forget how that would've been a global catastrophe unless everyone did their utmost to stop using them.

farms and hospitals (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37438850)

In Norway, a cleaning job in a hospital requires a 2 year training. But they make do without carpet bombing wide-spectrum antibiotics, and the number of patients with multi-resistant infections is very small. Think about it: any lab technician-in-training can scoop a bucket of water from the Thames, and measure the concentration of several antibiotics in it.

Re:farms and hospitals (1)

kanto (1851816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37438980)

I think hospital infections are a misnomer since the patients in many cases have contracted them elsewhere and as seagull dung tells us that the resistent bacteria are spreading; they contagions are just more likely to cause problems for the carrier at a hospital because of open wounds and compromised immune systems.

As a side note, my farther once had a small surgical operation on his scalp postponed for winter just to ward off infections. So I guess better move to Norway or the north pole if this really becomes an issue :)

Re:farms and hospitals (1)

smpoole7 (1467717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440206)

Actually, there was a story (I believe it was right here on /.) a while back about one common vector for MRSA in hospitals being the keyboards on the computers. The staff would be faithful about protecting themselves from the resistant staph, wearing gloves and masks, but would then walk out of the patient's room and touch something (like a keyboard) without thoroughly washing first. I'm sure that practice has since been stopped, but it shows the problem.

And the address your specific contention, many people contract MRSA in hospitals. You concentrate a bunch of very sick people into a single building, THEN add in the wildcard that many of the bacteria have become resistant, and you see the problem. My own late father (diabetes) lost some toes to the disease, then almost died from MRSA. He was WEEKS in the hospital while they slowly brought it under control with vancomycin.

I'm a very messy person in general (I admit it), but I'm a fanatic about cleanliness in the kitchen. My wife sometimes gets tickled at how often I wash my hands and wipe the counters while I'm cooking. But here's the problem: you buy a package of ground beef that happens to have bacteria in it (that's why they have the warning labels on there). You can be quite diligent about *cooking* it properly, but if you get the tainted blood on your fingers, you could carry the bacteria over to the salad, onto the refrigerator door, or dozens of other places without even thinking about it.

Now add in the fact that many of these strains of bacteria are resistant to antibiotics and you can understand my paranoia. :)

Re:farms and hospitals (1)

kanto (1851816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441536)

My point was that the patient carries the MRSA on their skin to the hospital where it gains entrance to the blood stream or the soft tissue when the skin is punctured for any reason. Hospitals are like the toilet seat since you'd expect them to be just full of all sorts of issues, but similarly they're not really a good growing ground for bacteria by design; especially if you compare them to other things like schools, daycare, a regular office space etc.

Re:farms and hospitals (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450172)

It may be better to expose yourself to small quantities of these bacteria, so that your body and gut flora is used to dealing with them. So I wouldn't be paranoid, just handle food and kitchen cleanness in the normal, tidy way. Whatever bacteria gets through, your body can cope with. Especially with antibiotic-resistant bacteria around, it's important that human body can deal with them without the aid of antibiotics.

Re:We May Joke, But Don't Miss The Point. (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37439370)

Antibiotics allow the cattle to digest corn and produce more meat, for reasons not completely understood. Chicken raised per square meter can be much higher with antibiotics. So, regardless how screwed the drug companies are, the food producer (notice: != farmer) are in the same pot.

That is unfortunately one of the so many example of capitalism working as expected without either regulations or customer information (like for tobacco, it should be mandatory to describe your nugget as "mutilated chicken fed with cow feces, minced whole and soaked in ammonia and petrol-based chicken flavor")

Re:We May Joke, But Don't Miss The Point. (1)

smpoole7 (1467717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446002)

> Antibiotics allow the cattle to ... produce more meat ...

Yes, I know. Another reason they cram the animals full of antibiotics is because they're stuffed together in breeding stalls or crowded into feed lots, and it (supposedly) helps prevent them from getting sick. The latter reason is why they don't just limit feed suppliers to the older antibiotics, while reserving the newer ones for prescription use only. The farm animals themselves are developing resistant infections, so the farmers want to hit them with the Latest And Greatest drugs, too.

I'm aware of the downside, though -- the price of meat and poultry is going to go WAY up if strict limits on antibiotic use on farms are implemented. Nevertheless, given the very real danger that a "superbug" could develop from our indiscriminate use of antibiotics (by the tons) on farms, I'm afraid I have to swallow my conservative principles and agree that additional government regulation is needed here. :)

Re:We May Joke, But Don't Miss The Point. (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37447692)

There's the problem right there. Cattle digesting corn? Cattle eat grass. WTF? Corn+antibiotics? This is a man-made solution to a man-made problem, which is causing a new man-made problem. And I am certain a new man-made solution shall follow. Followed by some other man-made problem. What the FUCK is wrong with letting fucking cows eat fucking GRASS?!?!?!

Angry Birds (1)

shinigami sama (1980846) | more than 2 years ago | (#37438344)

So this is why the pigs were at war with them...

Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37438442)

"bacterias" is a double plural. Singular - bacterium, plural - bacteria

Re:Grammar (1)

jnpcl (1929302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450134)

You are correct, if the topic were about multiples of the same bacterium.

However, the topic is about multiple different bacterias.

Re:Grammar (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450282)

You should have just stuck with "You are correct."

Seagulls eat your food.... (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37439078)

Maybe, just maybe (given that they only tested seagulls) - the seagulls aquired the resistant bacteria from the same place humans do.

I'd want to see a study on bacteria in sewers and other birds before I jumped to the conclusion seagulls are the source. Oh wait - that would be thinking.

I've already seen the result of testing chickens. (Hi Mr Steggles)

We need a cage fight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37439514)

Two of the most efficient and adaptable forms of life is viruses and bacteria. Why are we not setting up fights between the two until they have produced a cure for every know side-effect to humans these life forms have?

Human Sewage sludge in your food (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37440962)

I bet there is a strong correlation to using sewage sludge on farm fields.

http://www.sludgefacts.org/
http://vimeo.com/24854061
http://www.sewagesludgeactionnetwork.com/

Its amazing what you never knew. [govtrack.us] This bill has died in committee for 8 sessions of congress in a row.....

I thought government was there to keep us safe?

Yes, but why? (1)

prometx42 (1107413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37442182)

They've come to regard the birds as a vector. It seems like a crucial facet of all this would be, how, did the birds become an, apparently, very robust, vector?

Are these brids scavenging anti-bacterials from various human food sources? are they absorbsing same from the sewer effluvia that we know eventually makes its way into many coastal waters?

I'm always suspicious of these quirky "end reports" that seem to be spread without a context that might lead to some actual solution, or at least, amendment.

Re:Yes, but why? (1)

smpoole7 (1467717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446048)

That was my question, too. Maybe the seagulls are snatching feed from nearby farms? Or is there some other vector?

Like I said above, the truly troubling thing is that they've got these antibiotic-resistant bacteria in them to start with. That shows how widespread the problem has become, and we're back to my concerns about a "superbug."

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