Researchers from Spain and Finland may have found a viable alternative to using superbug-breeding antibiotics on chickens. While investigating possible ways to inhibit the growth of campylobacter—a strain of bacteria found in chickens’ digestive tracts that causes food-borne illness in humans—researchers discovered that probiotic supplements intended for human use were effective in controlling the pathogen. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, campylobacter sickens an estimated 2.4 million Americans each year, usually after they consume or handle infected chicken. As food scientists attempt to find solutions for farmers’ overreliance on antibiotics, probiotics could prove to be a valuable tool in curbing infectious disease without using potentially harmful drugs.
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