As per a new study to be published in Environmental Health Perspectives this month antibiotic-resistant bacteria from cattle feed yards can be airborne. Researchers based in Texas Tech University collected particle matter samples downwind and upwind of ten large-scale cattle feed yards within a 200 mile radius of Lubbock. They observed the wind for around six months and found that bacteria containing antibiotic-resistant genes were four thousand percent more prevalent in the samples collected downwind from the feedlots than in the samples collected upwind.
“Finding out where these particles are traveling and how far is an important question,” study co-author Phil Smith said. “Specifically these gene sequences: What happens when they land? These are tremendously important questions and ones that we are interested in answering.”