Urinary tract infections linked to contaminated chicken

February 20, 2012 By Shari Roan

Urinary tract infections are common conditions that occur when bacteria from the intestines enter the urinary tract. New research, however, suggests that the bacteria causing these infections may come from contaminated food - especially chickens.

While it sounds bizarre, studies from Canadian researchers show that stricter chicken-farm anti-contamination practices may help curb cases of . In 2010, researchers showed that the most common cause of the infections - E. coli bacteria - can originate in food. In a study published this week, the authors show that chicken is the likely culprit.

The scientists, led by Amee R. Manges of McGill University, tested 320 samples of beef, pork and chicken. They found that the bacteria from beef and pork were far less likely to be genetically related to human urinary tract infection bacteria strains than chicken, which were closely related.

Proper kitchen handling and cooking of chicken can reduce the chances of E. coli infection. But, Manges said: "The many examples of that occur regularly makes it clear that we still have problems with food safety."

Given the strong link between E. coli-related urinary tract infections and chicken, it makes sense for chicken farms to step up efforts to stop , the authors said.

E. coli is well known as a cause of diarrheal illness, but the bacteria's foodborne link to urinary tract infections should not be underestimated, they note.

"During the past decade, the emergence of drug-resistant E. coli has dramatically increased," the authors wrote. "As a consequence, the management of UTIs, which was previously straightforward, has become more complicated; the risks for are higher, and the cost of UTI treatment is increasing."

The study appears in the March issue of the journal .

Explore further: Study examines new treatment for recurrent urinary tract infections

Related Stories

Study examines new treatment for recurrent urinary tract infections

April 15, 2011
Urinary tract infections are common in women, costing an estimated $2.5 billion per year to treat in 2000 in the United States alone. These infections frequently recur, affecting 2 to 3 percent of all women. A depletion ...

New strategy to combat cystitis

June 3, 2011
One in three women will be faced at least once in her life with cystitis, for some the start of a constantly recurring infection. Cystitis is caused by Escherichia coli bacteria which fasten on to the wall of the bladder ...

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.