Targeted Weapon

Waging a New War on Superbugs

Turkey Getty
How many antibiotics are in the festive bird?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A new weapon against resistant bacteria could be applied to food packaging, medical products and in household cleaning agents.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics. If they then attack humans, there might be no treatment.
    • Liechtenstein-based Lysando has a new weapon against bacteria that is registered under the name Artilysin.
    • Artilysin proteins perforate germs in a targeted way. It’s like shooting them with a pistol, the company head explains, instead of bombing them.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

As the delicious smell of turkey and goose flooded kitchens this Christmas, few will have been thinking about nasty things like antibiotics and bacteria.

Yet, a recent study from the State Ministry for the environment, public health and consumer protection has found that in 93 percent of all cases, breeders repeatedly treated turkeys with up to 10 antibiotics — including some intended for humans and not allowed for poultry.

The problem with this profusion of antibiotics is that bacteria can become resistant to them, and render the drugs useless for disease treatment in humans.

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