July 28, 2013
Excerpt, editing is mine:
A rare superbug detected in a slaughterhouse in Sheung Shui has never
before been found among livestock in Hong Kong or Asia, a University of
Hong Kong study has confirmed.
"It indicates that there may have been widespread use by some farmers
of antibiotics to keep their pigs healthy," Ho Pak-leung said. "This is
one explanation as to why [the Sheung Shui] pork contains the
Humans can catch the superbug through eating uncooked pork or coming into contact with infected livestock, Ho said
The superbug, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium(VRE), was
detected in one of 137 batches of pork samples collected in January at a
slaughterhouse in Sheung Shui.
Genetic analysis confirmed the bug to be of the sequence type ST6,
never before detected in any animal bred for consumption in Asia.
Another strain of VRE, ST414, is more common in Hong Kong and causes
several deaths a year during hospital outbreaks, Ho said.
VRE infections tend to occur in already debilitated patients, and
usually break out within a contaminated institution, such as a hospital.
Mortality rates for VRE infections have been calculated at between 40
and 70 per cent. It can be contracted and carried by a healthy person
for years without any symptoms, only to attack when the carrier becomes
sick or is injured.
Continued, complete article: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1292722/rare-superbug-found-hong-kong-has-never-been-detected-asia