Research done on the droppings (or poop) of crows has revealed that it is becoming increasingly difficult for human isolate and prevent the spread deadly drug-resistant microbes.
In the study, researchers found that about 2.5 percent of the fecal samples of crows in Massachusetts, Kansas, New York and California had microbes that were resistant to vancomycin, a drug that is known to be one of the last defenses for infections.
“The Vancomycin resistance gene is rare [in the wild], so the fact they readily found it in crows is significant,” said a Virginia Tech environmental engineer, Amy Pruden.
In addition to these newly found carriers of what should be ‘human-derived drug resistance,’ another concern has now arisen in light of such finding. That is, how do we keep these bugs from growing in numbers and hitching rides on more birds and other animals?
One method is to trace back to the source of where these problematic bugs come from. However, the issue with that is, according to Julie Ellis, a scientist involved in the study, it is quite difficult to track the movements of birds.
“Because birds are so mobile, it’s possible they may acquire resistance genes from multiple sources in their travels,” she said. “Maybe they visit a dumpster or sewage treatment plant one day and later a farmer’s field.”
Crows, like other wild animals, are as much a part of our world as we are of theirs, and it is impossible for people to steer clear of crows at all time. One could put on his hoodie whenever he sees a group of crows hovering above, but how likely is that to happen? Plus, the chances that a person will contract something deadly from just looking at crow poop is low.
Do keep in mind, however, that the recent study on crow droppings and drug-resistant bugs is reinforcing your mother’s command to not touch everything you see.
Source: Environmental Health News