From hospitals to the kitchen: antibiotic resistance can reach us even where you do not expect it. Between 5,000 and 7,000 deaths a year in hospital, says the SIMIT (Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases) patients with compromised immune systems who lose their lives not for the pathology for which they were hospitalized, but because in the hospital they were infected by a bacterium that does not respond to antibiotics.

Especially staphylococcus aureus, pseudomonas, Klebsiella pneumoniae, enterobacteria. They nest in endotracheal tubes, in artificial respiration machines, in urinary and venous catheters. But they are also transferred from the unwashed hands of health workers who do not use gloves, and at work they handle cell phones, put their hands in their handbags, touch their ties: these are the objects most laden with micro-organisms. But the alarm contained in the report of the Ministry of Health and resumed by the CIWF indicates another possible way for the transmission to humans of microorganisms now become resistant to antibiotics: what they remain on meat, especially poultry, and that can come into contact with us before cooking, which destroys them. Specifically, on the samples of poultry analyzed by the Veterinarians on behalf of the Ministry of Health, 90.04% of Campylobacter jejuni isolates showed resistance to fluoroquinolones and 5.36% showed multiple resistance. In the case of Salmonella, 83.15% of the isolates isolated in the samples showed resistance to fluoroquinolones, 82.02% to tetracyclines (the best-selling class of antimicrobials in Italy), 3.37% to cephalosporins of 3 And 4th generation and 78.65% of the isolates showed multiple resistance.

For Escherichia Coli, resistance to fluoroquinolones is present in 67.65% of samples, resistance to cephalosporins of 3rd and 4th generation in 6.47%. Furthermore, 80.59% showed multiple resistance. Finally, for Escherichia coli producers of ESBL or AmpC or carbapenemase, 95.08% showed multiple resistance to 5 or more different classes of antimicrobials simultaneously. Bad habit of handling maybe to wash chicken parts just brought home, or use tools such as cutting boards and knives without washing them thoroughly. Or keep them in the refrigerator raw, allowing them to come into contact with other foods or with the shelf: they can move, and infect us.

It must also be said that we come into contact every moment with billions of germs, and our immune system is well equipped, normally, to eliminate them: but in some particular debilitating situations even small bacterial loads can cause problems. And when these bacteria are already resistant to drugs because they survived the antibiotic campaigns of intensive farms, the problem is that they will not even respond to our antibiotics.

What then, as an active ingredient, are the same that we also use in animal husbandry: 71% of antibiotics sold (including those for human consumption) is intended for animals. We are the third largest user of antibiotics in livestock in Europe (after Cyprus and Spain), and our use is higher than in other similarly sized countries (three times the size of France, five times the size of the United Kingdom).

Hence the invitation to consumers to pay attention: we continue to eat chicken meat and other animals, but sparingly (animal proteins are not well seen by the Mediterranean diet, if in excess) and respecting the hygiene rule that requires to avoid contact contamination.