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Therapy Could Stop Superbugs on Farms

In a race to beat superbugs that are becoming resistant to every antibiotic known to man, scientists have discovered a possible alternative to antibiotics for use in pigs, BBC.com reports. The new strategy involves using viruses called bacteriophages to attack and kill disease-causing bacteria. Researchers hope further studies will show that the “phages” can be added to pig feed in powdered form. If it works, it may help in developing similar treatments in humans.

It’s wonderful that scientists are looking for ways to combat superbugs that no longer respond to antibiotics. But it would be even more wonderful if researchers would take a stand against the root causes of the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, that being confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Antimicrobial resistance refers to microorganisms — bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites — that, after exposure to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics), evolve and become impervious to them, and heavy reliance on antibiotics in CAFOs has brought about these drug-resistant bacteria.

This is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been encouraging farmers to use as little antibiotics as possible. Even so, sales of “sub-therapeutic” antibiotics for use on swine, cattle and poultry, which represent the biggest protein sources for most Americans, are still going up, unfortunately because CAFOs simply refuse to change.

So what can you do as drug-resistance spreads? High-quality colloidal silver may be a valuable addition to your medicine cabinet. Low doses of silver can make antibiotics up to 1,000 times more effective and may even allow an antibiotic to successfully combat otherwise antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Also, use antibiotics only when absolutely necessary and avoid using antibiotic household products. As an all-around preventive measure, make sure your vitamin D level is optimized year-round. Properly wash your hands when handling meats at home, and purchase only organic, antibiotic-free meats and other foods.
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