Experts urge pet owners not to sleep with their pet pooches over deadly superbug

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Plenty of us have no problem snuggling up in bed with our beloved pooches.

But now experts are saying that dog owners shouldn’t do this in a bid to stop an untreatable superbug, which is believed to make people resistant to life-saving antibiotics.

The mcr-1 gene is thought to transfer from animals to humans and according to the Daily Record is estimated to have killed 700,000 people a year across the world.

As a result, scientists are now urging people not to sleep with their dogs, reports the Daily Express, who predict the gene could kill 10 million people a year by 2050 if it is left unchecked.

The gene was first reported back in 2015 in China and is resistant to colistin, an antibiotic that’s used to fight off bacterial infections when other drugs don’t work.

Domestic dogs harbour the mcr-1 gene in the gut which is then transported via microscopic fecal particles.

A study carried out by the University of Libson found that in a household where two of the dogs had a tissue infection, the mcr-1 gene was identified in both the dog and owners.

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Fecal samples were then taken from 126 healthy people from 80 households living with 102 cats and dogs over two years up to February 2020.

At the end of the study, results showed that eight of the dogs and four humans were found to be harbouring the mcr-1 gene.

While three of the dogs appeared to be healthy and well, the others were found to have either tissue or urinary tract infections

This study was then presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases last weekend, however experts said that agricultural regions that use the antibiotic colistin, particularly those in southern Europe, are less likely to contract mcr-1.

Dr Juliana Menezes, who led the research, said: “Colistin is used when all other antibiotics have failed, it is a crucial treatment of last resort.

“If bacteria resistant to all drugs acquire this resistance gene, they would become untreatable, and that’s a scenario we must avoid at all costs.

“We know that the overuse of antibiotics drives resistance and it is vital that they are used responsibly, not just in medicine but also in veterinary medicine and in farming.”

With this in mind, it's therefore probably best to either limit the amount of time your pooch is allowed to spend in your bed or start putting an end to it completely.

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