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aussie paper reports backs imu claims

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    By Andrea Jackson

    The risk of infection from chicken and turkey sold in supermarkets will diminish, thanks to an alternative antibiotic treatment developed by the CSIRO.

    It would allow antibiotic use in the poultry industry to be phased out, CSIRO researcher John Lowenthal said yesterday. "A number of European countries have already restricted the use of antibiotics in food-production animals," he said.

    The concern centres around the potential spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria through the food chain. The alternative treatment, developed by the CSIRO at Geelong, feeds natural proteins called cytokines into chickens, providing protection against some infectious diseases.

    "Cytokines are proteins that are produced by the body," Dr Lowenthal said. "Their job is to improve the immune response during infection and help combat disease".

    The CSIRO tests showed that when chickens were treated with cytokines their health improved and they gained weight. The treatment can be fed to the poultry or sprayed on.


    A US study found many chickens and turkeys had bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

 
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