Hog Farms, Spread of MRSA, Subject of NYT Column

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof hit on antibiotic resistance today in his opinion column. Kristof reports traveling to the small town of Camden, Indiana, where a recently deceased doctor uncovered a frightening number of residents with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Turns out that the small Indiana town is surrounded by a large number of industrial hog farms. Kristof points to the 2004 dutch study which showed pigs could infect people with MRSA, and mentions the recent study from the University of Iowa that found 45 percent of pig farmers examined carried MRSA. Kristof concludes, “so what’s going on here, and where do these antibiotic-resistant infections come from? Probably from the routine use — make that the insane overuse — of antibiotics in livestock feed.” He promises another column in Sunday’s Times that will focus more on the issue.