A breakthrough by Australian scientists has brought the introduction of an unlikely hero in the global fight against antibiotic resistance: the humble platypus.
Livestock raised for food in the US are dosed with five times as much antibiotic medicine as farm animals in other countries, a study revealed.
Higher use of antibiotics, particularly those that are critical for human health – the medicines “of last resort,” which the World Health Organization wants banned from use in animals – is associated with rising resistance to the drugs and the rapid evolution of “superbugs” that can kill or cause serious illness.
A whopping 70% of all medically-important antibiotics are sold in the US for use in livestock. The excessive and often unnecessary use of these so-called miracle drugs leads to bacteria developing resistance and weakens the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating humans.