3 things you need to know about antimicrobials
Antimicrobial resistance is among the top 10 public health threats, says the World Health Organization. It is the result of an antibiotics misuse in animals and humans. Hence, efforts are ongoing to reduce the spread of AMR.
The proportion of resistant pathogens has increased in recent years. Hence, the EU takes various measures and actions to prevent the further spread of antimicrobial resistance. Examples are:
- The ban on antibiotic performance enhancers in the EU since 2006
- No use of antibiotics for prophylaxis
- Restrictions on the oral use of antibiotics for the treatment of entire animal populations (numerous suspensions of drug premixes in recent years)
- Limitation of pack sizes to the minimum quantity required for treatment
- Suspension or refusal of approval of antibiotics with critical resistance situation or insufficient efficacy
The problem of increasing antibiotic resistance affects human and veterinary medicine, agriculture, and the environment. In the context of food production, resistant bacteria can be transferred from animals to food. Reserve antibiotics are often less effective, have increased side effects, and are usually more expensive than standard antibiotics. Moreover, the occurrence of colistin resistance, for example, can lead to untreatable infections.
The European perspectives on reducing antimicrobial usage in livestock is as follows: First, to reduce the use of critically important antimicrobials. Second, to replace antimicrobials with alternative treatments. Third, to rethink the livestock production: Not only the optimization of animal husbandry (e.g., stable construction, stable climate), but also the optimization of management (hygiene measures, vaccinations, feeding).
In-feed antibiotics have been used in livestock since the late 1940s. Mainly for three reasons: Preventing digestive imbalances, improving nutrient utilization and performance in animals.
The good news: Phytogenic alternatives can stand up to the use of in-feed antibiotics.
Katharina loves to learn, discover and tell feed and food stories globally - using Social Media, visual communications and media relations. She is currently not working actively at Delacon.