Segments in this Video

Superbugs (02:48)


Correspondent David E. Hoffman has been tracking antibiotic resistant superbugs for two years. He found that the majority of antibiotics are used on farms.

Antibiotics on Farms (02:00)

Learn how and why large-scale farms are using antibiotics.

Meat Supply (03:23)

Flagstaff Medical Center is seeing an increase of antibiotic resistant urinary tract infections. Microbiologist Lance Price is conducting a study to see if the local meat supply could be responsible.

Farm History (03:11)

Antibiotics have been used routinely on farms since the 1940s. Learn the benefits of widespread antibiotic use. A direct link from farm to superbug has not been proven.

MRSA (02:48)

Environmental epidemiologist Brian Schwartz is researching how resistance might travel through the environment, from farms to people.

Pig Manure (03:47)

Animal manure spread as fertilizer could be responsible for the increased MRSA cases near farms. Animal Health Institute Vice President Richard Carnevale disputes this hypothesis.

Food and Drug Administration (02:00)

The FDA has the authority to regulate antibiotic use in animals. The agency tried to restrict the use over forty years ago. Farm lobbyists and industry groups opposed this immediately.

Animal Health Institute (02:50)

The AHI was against regulating antibiotic use in 1977, and put a stop to the proposal.

Cephalosporins (03:26)

Cattle researchers notice that the cows were becoming resistant to antibiotics, and set out to find a solution. They find that the use of tetracycline actually increased resistance to cephalosporins.

Food Supply Study (03:25)

Price shares the preliminary results of his research. He has genetically linked more than 100 urinary tract infections with resistant bacteria found on supermarket meat products.

Antibiotic Usage Data (03:02)

Farmers are not currently required to report their usage of antibiotics. Efforts in congress to require reporting have failed.

FDA Efforts (02:51)

The FDA asked pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily stop selling antibiotics that are intended only to make animals grow faster.

Klebsiella Pneumoniae Carbapenemase (03:17)

Over the past decade, hospitals in the New York City area have become the epicenter of a superbug. Learn how hospitals deal with the KPC bacteria.

KPC Spreads (03:51)

The NIH hospital works to contain the spread of a KPC bacteria outbreak.

Personal Account (02:59)

Troy Stulen's family comes forward to talk about their experience with KPC.

Diagnosis (02:07)

Eight months after the outbreak had ended, Stulen is diagnosed with KPC.

Mutated (03:05)

Stulen's infection mutated and antibiotics were no longer effective at fighting KPC. NIH hospital continues to be vigilant about fighting the KPC bacteria.

Credits: The Trouble with Antibiotics (01:01)

Credits: The Trouble with Antibiotics

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The Trouble with Antibiotics

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Each year, an estimated 2 million people in the U.S. are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria--and at least 23,000 die. As the crisis deepens, FRONTLINE correspondent David E. Hoffman turns his attention to the American farm, a sector that comprises an estimated 70 percent of all antibiotics sold. Hoffman travels the country to investigate new research out of Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Texas focusing on how antibiotics on the farm might be contributing to the growth of resistant bacteria that threaten the health of people. FRONTLINE traces the history and controversy over antibiotics in agriculture, discovers gaps in basic data about how antibiotics are used on the farm--and raises questions about why that information does not exist. Also in this program, FRONTLINE returns to the story of a superbug outbreak at one of the nation's most prestigious research hospitals, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, with an exclusive interview with the parents of a young man who died in the outbreak.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL60693

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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