Scientists at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology have found equal levels of drug-resistant bacteria in humans and poultry.
A study by the Department of Pharmaceutics reveals up to 61 percent resistance in both farm workers and livestock droppings.
One of the attributes is the use of unregulated antibiotics in animal husbandry, exposing farmers and other workers to risk.
A 2008 study in Ghana found 50 percent farmers use personal experience in the administration of antibiotics.
Unfortunately, most of the antibiotics for animal production also serve as medicine for humans.
This and the One Health Concept pushed the research team, led by Dr. Vivian Etsiapa Boamah, to investigate.
They found different antimicrobial practices on poultry farms in Ashanti, Bono Ahafo and Greater Accra Regions.
The researchers again followed up with further inquiry involving isolation of bacteria from humans and birds on same and different farms.
“Some of the organisms have the tendency to share their antimicrobial resistant genes or are capable of transferring resistance from one environment to the other, through mobile genetic elements such as plasmids,” Dr. Boamah said.
Work is currently underway on the mode of transfer and to trace origins of infection.