Seagulls have been identified as carriers of deadly superbugs.
A team of scientists, led by researchers at Murdoch University, found more than 20% of Australian Silver Gulls nationwide were carrying pathogenic bacteria which are resistant to drugs.
Dr Sam Abraham, an expert in veterinary and medical infectious diseases at Murdoch, said the study should be a wake-up call for Australian governments.
“What we found was, regardless of the state, the gull population in Australia are carriers of superbugs, or antimicrobial resistant bacteria, that cause infection in humans,” Abraham said.
If infected, humans could develop urinary tract infections, life-threatening sepsis and meningitis.
Antimicrobial resistance has risen to “dangerously high levels” globally and, according to the World Health Organisation, is one of the biggest threats to health and food security.