Urinary tract infections are common conditions that occur when bacteria from the intestines enter the urinary tract. New research, however, suggests that the bacteria causing these infections may come from contaminated food -- especially chickens.
While it sounds bizarre, studies from Canadian researchers show that stricter chicken-farm ani-contamination practices may help curb cases of urinary tract infections. In 2010, researchers showed that the most common cause of the infections -- E. coli bacteria -- can originate in food. In a study published Wednesday, the authors show that chicken is the likely culprit.
The scientists, led by Amee R. Manges of McGill University, tested 320 samples of beef, pork and chicken. They found that the bacteria from beef and pork were far less likely to be genetically related to human urinary tract infection bacteria strains than chicken, which were closely related.
Proper kitchen handling and cooking of chicken can reduce the chances of E. coli infection. But, Manges said: "the many examples of foodborne outbreaks that occur regularly makes it clear that we still have problems with food safety."