Antibiotic Use In Industrial Food Animal Production


  • antibiotics help minimize infectious diseases uses: clinical medicine animal agriculture
  • terrestrial, aquculture crop production ethanol production contributes to resistance development
  • extent of use in animal production unknown
  • most of the antibotics used are for humans not animals
  • a study found that antibotics used in 2010 were significantly more for animals than used for humans
  • antimicrobial use for animals: multiple purposes (FDA), treatment, control, prevention, production (growth promotion, feed conversion use of antibiotics to maximize growth)
  • 80% of antimicobial use was used for food animals

administered without vet and mostly through feed and water, low dose–> longer duration
antibiotic resistance
– selection for resistance: low doses that do not kill off bacteria, instead creates resistance
– horizontal gene transfer: bacterial transformation, bacterial transduction through phage virus infection, bacterial conjugation–> direct contact
-mutagenesis and resistance: bactericidal antibiotics
– application to aerobic bacteria at levels below those that induce selection pressure can make bacteria
-bacterial altruism- mutation allowing drug resistance can share chemical signals with drug-susceptible bacteria
-numerous factors influence precision in dose delivery: feed quality control, behavior of animal production facility workers, animal/herd dynamics, drug absorpotion, pharmacokinetics
– unlikely that antibiotics can be delivered at predictable or intended doses through feed
-over-administration can lead to drug residues in food animal products and clinical toxicity in animals
-under-administration can lead to genetic mutations that allow resistance to emerge
-intermittent dosing in which variability can lead to over-and/or under administration that can then lead to antimicrobial selection pressure and/or disease treatment failure
-bacteria that is resistant to antibotics can easily be exposed to the community from animals, animal wastes, workers of plants, birds,
-resistant infections respond poorly to one or more antibotics and increase mortality risk
-hospital stays are longer and more costly for resistant infections
-mulitple estimates of societal cost of resistant infections
-30 billion dollars per year
– Denmark passed legislation to restrict use of non-therapeutic antimicrobials in swine production
Denmarks results:
-indicators of animal health have revealed a beneficial effect
– total antibiotic consumption has declined by more than 50%
-reductions in resistance in animal pathogens, indicator bacteria, and zoonotic microorganisms
-Animal drug user free act (2008)- FDA collects and releases aggregated sales data for antibiotics in food animal production
-Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA)- limits the use of “medically important” antibiotics in food animal production–> has not been passed yet
-Stratefies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance Act (STAAR)- data collection and dissemination regarding antibiotics use in humans and animals; funding for interagency task force, “real time” monitoring–> not yet passed
-antibiotics are a critical tool in clinical medicine
-same antibiotics are used in animal agriculture for non-theraapeutic purposes
-antibiotic use inanimal agriculture promotes the emergence and propagation of resistant bacteria
-many enviornmental pathways exist for the spread of resistant bacteria from animal production sites to people
-domestic policies have been proposed to address the use of antibiotics in IFAP

It surprises me that there are more antibiotics administered to feed animals than humans. That is ridiculous. Also, the fact that most of these antibiotics do not have to be administered by any kind of certified or liscensed vet. How is this possible? Is it part of the larger evil pharmaceutical industry that this is allowed? This whole lecture, although in a boring tone, appaled me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Just another site

Privacy Statement