Poultry International - March 2018 - 22
3 animal antibiotics, human
health risk questions answered
Clear link between antibiotic resistance emerging on farms and
drug-resistant infections in people.
Use of antibiotics in any setting contributes
to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria, and
antibiotic use in food animals is no exception,
concludes The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The U.S. nonprofit organization has produced
an issue brief looking at the role of antibiotics
used on farms in the emergence of antibiotic
resistance and how resistant bacteria spread to
It notes that while the path from antibiotic use
in animal agriculture to the subsequent public
health risk posed by resistant bacteria is a complex one, the connection is irrefutable.
The briefing document offers a high-level
overview of scientific data available to address
three key questions:
Does antibiotic use on farms and feedlots
lead to resistant bacteria emerging?
Yes. There are pathogens such as
Salmonella and Campylobacter, which can cause
disease in humans, and commensal bacteria -
"friendly" microorganisms occurring naturally in
the environment that are harmless in isolation but
can ultimately share their resistance genes with
bacteria that can make people sick. Evidence
from both bacteria types has shown that antibiotic use causes resistance.
Numerous studies, including various randomized control studies, have shown that resistant
bacteria can, and do, emerge after food animals
were exposed to antibiotics, despite resistance
not emerging during the studies in all cases.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ March 2018