Superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics are being used in farm fertilizers, and scientists fear they could enter the food-chain and make their way back into humans.
Researchers in Finland made the discovery when they analysed samples of sewage sludge, which is used as a fertilizer. Most of the samples tested positive for the superbug VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci), which cannot be treated by antibiotics.
The research team, from the Finnish Food Safety Authority, fears that the superbug can pass from animals and into humans through the food chain. VRE may also be able to pass on its resistance genes to other bacteria.
(Source: Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 2009; 51: 24).