A new study from UEA has discovered that the antibiotic-resistant E. coli is more likely to spread due to poor toilet hygiene than by eating undercooked meat. The investigation was to find out whether antibiotic-resistant E. coli that cause bloodstream infections are picked up via the food chain, or passed from person to person.

Their report in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reveals that antibiotic-resistant ‘superbug’ strains of E. coli from human blood, faeces and sewerage samples were similar to one another. Lead author Prof David Livermore, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, emphasised the importance of this investigation given the mortality rates of people infected with strains that are resistant to treatment.

Prof Neil Woodford, of Public Health England, stated that in order to fight these resistant bacteria, good hygiene and proper hand washing should be encouraged.

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