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First transmission of NDM bacteria between dog and human
This study is presumed to be the first in which researchers have shown the transmission of NDM-bacteria between dogs and humans.
Researchers isolate highly resistant strain from family dogs and owner

Researchers in Finland have reported the first-ever transmission of New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM) bacteria between a dog and a human.

In 2015, NDM bacteria were identified in two Finnish dogs. Now, writing in the journal Eurosurveillance, Dr Thomas Grönthal and his team reveal that the owner of the dogs also carried the bacteria.

Dr Grönthal explains: “We were able, through the analysis of the genome of the bacteria, to conclude that the bacterial isolates from the dogs and humans were identical, which means that they were transmitted between dogs and humans.”

The study was a collaboration between the University of Helskini, the National Institute of Health and Welfare, and the Finish Food Safety Authority.

Researchers isolated a highly resistant NDM-5 producing bacterial strain from two family dogs and one of the family members. Both dogs and two members of the family also carried a multidrug-resistant ESBL bacterium.

The ESBL and the NDM bacterial strains researchers isolated from the humans and dogs were identical. However, the humans did not show any symptoms and the researchers were unable to identify the source of the NDM bacteria.

“We could not show with certainty in which direction the bacteria had transmitted, explains lead researcher Merja Rantala. “However, especially the NDM-bacteria probably moved from human to dog as these bacteria have not previously been identified in animals in Finland.”

“The use of carbapenem antibiotics in animals is prohibited in Finland, but the dogs had received numerous other antibiotics. This gave the NDM-bacteria a competitive edge and enabled them to persist in the dogs.”

This study is presumed to be the first in which researchers have shown the transmission of NDM-bacteria between dogs and humans. However, car­bapenemase-pro­du­cing bac­teria are becoming more common in animals.

Researchers recommend that laboratories investigating animal specimens should monitor the susceptibility of bacteria to carbapenems and extended-spectrum cephalosporins.

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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British sheep meat to be exported to India in new agreement

The UK government has secured a new export deal of sheep meat to India.

In 2017, UK sheep meat exports were worth £386 million. This new agreement is predicted to increase this value by £6 million over the next five years.

With a range of meat cuts due to be exported, the deal is seen by international trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, as “another vote of confidence in our world-leading food and drink”.