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Scientists say that cystitis could be caused by chickens

Date:2012-03-22 click:

If you've ever had cystitis, you know just how unpleasant it can be. But now scientists say that we might be able to blame chickens for our discomfort. 

 
The Daily Mail reports that more than one million women in the UK suffer from urinary tract infections each year. Experts have always suspected that they are caused by a person's own E.coli bacteria - but now Canadian scientists believe that the strain of bacteria most likely came from chickens. 
 
Researchers from McGill University in Montreal compared the genetic fingerprints of E.coli from urinary tract infections to 320 samples from chicken, pork and beef - and found that chicken was a very close match. 
 
They also believe that modern farming methods could be making things worse. 
 
Study author Amee Manges said: "Chicken may be a reservoir for the E.coli that cause infections like urinary tract infections. 
 
"We are concerned about the selection and amplification of drug-resistant E.coli on all the farms because of improper or overuse of antimicrobials during food animal production. 
 
"During the past decade, the emergence of drug-resistant E.coli has dramatically increased. 
 
"As a consequence, the management of UTIs, which was previously straightforward, has become more complicated the risks for treatment failure are higher, and the cost of UTI treatment is increasing."
 
The Soil Association has also reported a rise in a type of resistance in E.coli called Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) in British farms, 
 
They say that in the UK, between five and 10 per cent of all urinary tract infections caused by E.coli are now caused by ESBLs and have called for a reduction in the use of antimicrobials on farms, as this could cut the level of drug-resistant infections in people. 
 
However, careful handling and thorough cooking of chicken helps to kill the germs and reduces the risk of infection. 
 
Symptoms of a urinary tract infections include a burning sensation when urinating, a need to urinate often and pain in the lower abdomen. Some infections clear up on their own after a few days, but others require treatment with antibiotics. In rare cases, urinary tract infections can lead to kidney failure or blood poisoning. 

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