An entry from the American Geophysical Union blog site in mid-August discusses the possibility of spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ABR) through wind dispersal of land-applied animal wastewater used for irrigation in drought conditions.  You can read the blog here.  Scientists are not sure about the amount of ABR naturally occurring in the soils now, but speculate that application of wastewater from livestock treated with antibiotics could provide an additional source of infectious agents in areas where dust storms pick up soils and transport them to areas where higher populations can breathe in the dust.  The number of opportunistic infections has occurred in recent years and scientists are trying to determine where the pathogens came from.  Researchers recognize that identifying natural amounts of ABR in soils is essential so that producers will not be unfairly blamed if wastewater is not the source.

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