According to a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, seagulls could represent one of the main vehicles of infectious bacteria for humans in the future, in particular those bacteria resistant to drugs and antibiotics.
The research, carried out by scientists at the Murdoch University in Perth, found that 20% of the 550 Australian gulls analyzed were carriers of infectious bacteria for humans. The seagulls themselves would become infected by coming into contact with excrement or human organic waste. Seagulls are in fact used to frequent landfills and sewer spill points and the like in search of food or nutrients.
In particular, gulls carried specimens of Escherichia coli, something that the researchers themselves found unusual. Other bacteria that seagulls carried could also cause urinary tract infections and sepsis.
The risk of a seagull transmitting an infection to a human being is still unlikely according to Mark O’Dea, a researcher who carried out the study and made some statements to the AFP.
However, the increase in these birds in the inhabited areas and the increasingly frequent contacts they have with our organic waste do not bode well in this regard.