I love sushi, and I’m sure you do too! But it seems like it might not be very good for our health anymore!
According to Daily Mail, researchers studying dolphins have discovered that seafood lovers could be at risk of being antibiotic-resistant as there has been a spread of superbugs at sea. Researchers said that these superbugs have doubled in number over the span of five years.
Even though dolphins aren’t creatures that humans usually consume, researchers said that they serve as a good example for the rest of life at sea which is often consumed by humans.
Their new discovery shows that raw or undercooked fish could contain bugs that our strongest medicines cannot kill. This is called antimicrobial resistance (AMR) where bacteria, viruses, and some parasites are able to resist the effects of antibiotics, according to World Health Organisation.
This often happens when people take incorrect doses of antibiotics or if they take them unnecessarily, and it is becoming a bigger problem as no new antibiotics have been developed for decades. This also means bacterias and viruses are evolving and getting stronger against the drugs we have available now.
Every year, about 700,000 people in the world have died because of drug-resistant infections like tuberculosis, HIV and malaria.
The research team from Florida Atlantic University captured 171 bottlenose dolphins, took swabs and released them in the Indian River Lagoon between 2003 and 2015.
From those swabs, they found that bacteria like E. coli, Vibrio alginolyticus (bacteria known to cause food poisoning) and Acinetobacter baumannii (bacteria from hospital-acquired infections) had increased in number.
“We have been tracking changes over time and have found a significant increase in antibiotic resistance in isolates (microorganisms) from these animals. This trend mirrors reports from human health care settings,” said lead researcher Adam Schaefer.
“Based on our findings, it is likely that these isolates (microorganisms) from dolphins originated from a source where antibiotics are regularly used, potentially entering the marine environment through human activities or discharges from terrestrial sources.”
Based on this study, sushi lovers are now considered to be the most at risk of acquiring antibiotic-resistant bacteria as these microorganisms are found in raw meat.
The only way to avoid this problem is to cook food at high temperatures to ensure that harmful bacteria are killed before consuming. Probably best to put that sashimi aside for now!
Eat raw seafood at your own risk, guys!
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