According to the CDC, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. The largest incubator for antibiotic resistance is the factory farming of animals where livestock are administered large antibiotic doses often and kept in infection-prone conditions.
Another area where antibiotic use is common is in cell culturing for biological research and engineering. To what degree is this use of antibiotics contribute to the public health challenge today, and moving forward as the biotechnology sector grows?
I am curious both about the impact for yeast cell culturing, and also for the culturing of meats as a future food source. I wonder how the problem differs from the antibiotic resistance problem in the livestock industry, and how this might affect the outlook of a future filled with synthetic biologic products and lab-grown meat.
I see two differences off the bat between livestock farming and cell culturing:
- animals have much more powerful immune systems than cultures
- culture contamination can be much more readily monitored and responded to by operators