Pediatricians: Farm Use of Antibiotics Harms Children

In a new technical report, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) argues that unnecessary use of antibiotics in livestock is fueling drug-resistant, life-threatening infections in humans, particularly young children. The report, published Monday in Pediatrics, recommends limiting the use of antibiotics on farms.

Source: Pediatricians say farm use of antibiotics harms children

There are very definitive studies that show that animals fatten more quickly and to larger final sizes with low level antibiotics. That’s why companies that sell meat and poultry are willing to spend the money on it.  And we’ve seen a similar effect of weight gain on children who take antibiotics

1,000-year-old Onion and Garlic Eye Remedy Kills MRSA

A 1,000-year-old treatment for eye infections could hold the key to killing antibiotic-resistant superbugs, experts have said.

Scientists recreated a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and part of a cow’s stomach.

They were “astonished” to find it almost completely wiped out methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA.

…They found the remedy killed up to 90% of MRSA bacteria and believe it is the effect of the recipe rather than one single ingredient.

Source: 1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA

The article is poorly written, but in the context of the article – not misleading. They specifically tested the remedy against Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), and it worked.  All MRSA are S. aureus, but most S. aureus are not MRSA.

Honestly, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. They added a mixture to culture, and it happened to kill 90% of the bacteria. Adding bleach, 100% ethanol, and other substances can also kill 90%+ of MRSA in culture. In vitro results almost never translate perfectly to in vivo results.

In addition, there’s no evidence/proof provided that it actually works in vivo through some as of yet unknown mechanism. We do already have a small arsenal of drugs to fight both hospital acquired and community acquired MRSA, and I doubt a mix of onion, garlic, and cow’s stomach will replace any of those robust treatments.  Bile salts have been known to inhibit the growth of gram-positive bacteria (such as Staphylococci) for a very long time in Microbiology. In fact, a lot of common culture media such as MacConkey Agar use bile salts to prevent the growth of those bacteria.  Consider the science news life cycle:

SMBC had a similar take: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=1623

What’s really worrying is: I’ve noticed problems with scientific articles for a while, but never questioned reporting on the politics, international affairs, economics, etc the same way…