A new Michigan State University study has found an increase in antibiotic resistant strains of salmonella in Michigan.
The study says Michigan doctors are seeing more strains that are resistant to ampicillin, an antibiotic commonly used to treat salmonella infections.
And the study says multi-drug resistance, namely resistance to more than three classes of antibiotics, has also gone up in Michigan.
"The biggest problem is that patients who might have severe infections and who are hospitalized might be sicker longer," said Shannon Manning, associate professor in MSU's Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and senior author of the study.
"The bacteria in the patient will thrive, and continue to grow and to multiply and then the patient will get sicker," Manning said.
According to Manning, each strain of salmonella reacts differently to the range of antibiotics available to treat the infection. So early identification of the particular strain is important to determine the appropriate antibiotic.
Manning said more research is needed to provide doctors with faster methods to determine the specific strain.
Manning said the study's authors are still uncertain about what's causing the increase in antibiotic resistant infections in Michigan.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people infected with salmonella often develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Some infections can be more severe, require hospitalization, and even be life threatening. The elderly, infants, and people with impaired immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.
Preventive measures, suggested by the CDC, include washing your hands after using the toilet or coming into contact with human or animal feces, and following guidelines about cleaning and cooking food.