Recent studies have shown that isolates of Campylobacter jejuni bacteria, major culprits in food poisoning, are gaining resistance to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, currently the drugs of choice in treating the disorder. Therefore, makers of agricultural antibiotics will soon need to take antibiotic resistance into account as part of the approval process, says Sharon Thompson, associate director for veterinary medical and international affairs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A requirement for studies of new agricultural drugs is one part of an over-all framework introduced two years ago by FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine to deal with antibiotic resistance. Further developments will elucidate what kinds of studies are needed to address what one researcher calls a "hot issue."

Researchers from the Minnesota Department of Health reported a nearly 10-fold jump (from 1.3 percent to 10.2 percent) in the number of fluoroquinolone-resistant C. jejuni samples taken from people between 1992 and...

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