When we think of Arkansas, we do think of chickens.   That’s why we were not surprised to see the University of Arkansas doing some major research focusing on chickens, Campylobacter jejuni, a pathogen found in poultry, and antibiotics.

The bottom line? The University of Arkansas found that Campylobacter jejuni in poultry is becoming resistant to ciprofloxacin, a synthetic antibiotic used by humans to fight bacterial infections.

For the study, the University went grocery shopping every week for nearly a year at two Fayetteville grocery stores.  They bought a total of 382 raw chicken carcasses.

From the first store, 85 percent of the chickens purchased had countable levels of Campylobacter (including its non-pathogenic species), with 27 percent of it resistant to ciprofloxacin.

From the second store, 46 percent of the carcasses had detectable Campylobacter and 6 percent of that was resistant to ciprofloxacin.  In a press release, the University said:

Ramakrishna Nannapaneni, who conducted the research while at Arkansas as a food science post-doctoral associate, said that ciprofloxacin has never been used in animals. However, it is closely related to two other antibiotics, enrofloxacin and sarafloxacin, which were previously approved for usage in poultry between 1995 and 2000 before they were banned on Sept. 12, 2005.

When Campylobacter became resistant to enrofloxacin or sarafloxacin, it also showed cross-resistance to other fluoroquinolones (a group of antibiotics), such as in human medicine against ciprofloxacin,” said Nannapaneni, now an assistant professor of food science at Mississippi State University.

See the rest of the University of Arkansas story here.