Sable Island Horses Buck Bacteria Trend

Researchers found “remarkably low levels” of E. coli colonization in Sable Island horses’ guts.

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By Mary Timonin

Could bacteria resistant to antimicrobial drugs routinely used in both human and veterinary medicine be found in wild horses on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean?

By answering this question, Joe Rubin, DVM, PhD, and members of his research team at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), in Saskatoon, hope to gain a better understanding of how bacteria carrying acquired resistance genes are passed between humans, domestic animals, and wildlife species.

Their research has two major players: the horses living on Sable Island and the “bugs”—specifically Escherichia coli that these horses carry in their guts

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