NZ in global antibiotic awareness battle

Antibiotics abuse on pig and poultry farms could have a devasting effect

Antibiotics abuse on pig and poultry farms could have a devasting effect

Doctors increasingly rely on last resort antibiotics such as carbapenems and colistin, but as harmful bacteria continue to mutate, this final line of resistance will eventually fail.

"Just like people, animals sometimes get sick, and treating illness is a responsible part of animal care", NCC's Tom Super told PHT Media, which publishes Poultry Health Today and Pig Health Today.

The problem with the casual use of antibiotics is they lose their effect over time as the bacteria they are meant to counter simply adapt to overcome the medicine's effect. The implications could never be more real in Asia where, if no immediate action is taken, about 5 million people are projected to die annually by 2050 of conditions linked to bacterial infections that have become resistant to antibiotics.

"Denying pigs, cows and chickens necessary antibiotics would be unethical and immoral, leading to animal suffering and possibly death, and could compromise the nation's food system", NPPC said in a statement.

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Professor Alison Holmes, Director of the NIHR HRPU in Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance, said: "Antibiotic resistance is a serious global threat and we are already seeing its impact first hand in the NHS".

He said the other issue when buying antibiotics from unauthorised outlets is that a full dose will not be given which can contribute to resistance.

While, antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to survive treatment with antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance is the general term for drug resistance of microbes.

- Tyson Foods Inc, the largest chicken processor in the US, has stopped using antibiotics to produce its retail line of chicken.

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Suzanne Dougherty, executive vice president of the American Association of Avian Pathologists, noted that most of the antibiotics used in poultry are ionophores, which are not considered by FDA or World Health Organization to be medically important to humans.

Staff and students will be able to surrender their unused or out of date antibiotics for safe disposal at the Sherfield Building on South Kensington campus and the Commonwealth Building at Hammersmith, between 12:00-13:30.

Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Programme Life Healthcare has been active in Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) for a number of years. We will strengthen our collaboration with global partners and empower our Nation's greatest minds to develop new vaccines, diagnostic tests, and medications to prevent, diagnose, and treat infections.

"However, it has been also highlighted that up to 50 per cent of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed".

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