The E.coli bacteria is more likely to be spread through poor toilet hygiene than undercooked meat or other food, according to new research.
Scientists, including a team from the University of East Anglia, have found a majority of superbug infections associated with E.coli are caused by harmful strains found in human faeces rather than ones present in chicken, pork or other types of meat.
The researchers looked at a particular E.coli strain which produces an enzyme known as the Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) that makes it resistant to antibiotics.
Analysis showed there was “little crossover” of ESBL-producing E.coli from animals to humans.
The team says their findings, published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggest these superbugs “are spread through poor toilet hygiene, not undercooked chicken or other food”.