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Antibiotic reduction: what can you do?

Antibiotic reduction: what can you do?

Antibiotic resistance is a big concern regarding human and animal health. Health organizations all over the world clearly indicated that the way antibiotics are used today, has to be changed. If antibiotic use continues like we do today, mankind has to face over 10 million deaths as a result of the resistance in 2050. We want to support you by giving information on how the use of antibiotics can be controlled.

How do bacteria get resistant?

Causes of resistance development are:
-  Too frequent or preventive use of antibiotics
-  A treatment period that is too short or too long
-  Underdosing (image 1)
-  The use of non-synergistic antibiotic mixtures
-  Treating with a wrong diagnosis or without a diagnosis
-  Usage of drugs to which bacteria are already resistant

It is important to always use the prescribed dose of antibiotics. Too small amounts of antibiotics can cause a small fraction of bacteria to become resistant. These are the bacteria that will survive and replicate, thereby passing on the resistance. This replication will result in larger antimicrobial-resistant populations that can cause very hard to treat infections in both animals and humans.

Image 1 - How bacteria become resistant by underdosing

A mixture of a bacteriostatic and a bactericidal antibiotic should never be used. The bacteriostatic antibiotic will inhibit the bacterial growth, while the bactericidal antibiotic needs bacteria to be growing to be able to kill them. This means that the bactericidal antibiotic will not work and bacteria will survive.

How can the use of antibiotics affect animal and human health?

When bacteria are resistant to certain antibiotics, those antibiotics can not be used to treat the disease anymore. This results in a longer sickbed or eventually death of the animal or person. Resistant bacteria in animals can be transferred to humans by food. When withdrawal periods are disrespected, low concentrations of antibiotics can be present in the food, which causes a similar effect as...

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