According to the Medical Journal of Australia (published Monday); the large volumes of antibiotics used in food-producing animals in Australia has grave implications for the ongoing effectiveness of life-saving antibiotic medicines in humans.
Using data from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and the National Antimicrobial Utilisation Surveillance Program, the researchers showed that staggering quantities of antibiotics that are vital for human health were being sold for animal use.
Between 2005 and 2010, “an average of 182 tonnes were sold for use each year in animals … and 121 tonnes per year were used in humans”, says researchers Professor Cheng and Dr Langham.
“In humans (both in community and hospital settings), penicillins made up the majority of antibiotic use, representing 52.9 per cent of all use,” they wrote.
“Macrolides and tetracyclines were used in much greater volumes in animals compared with humans.”
While the drugs were mostly used in food animals for “therapeutic purposes”, a significant portion of macrolides (11.5 per cent) were used for “growth promotion purposes”, the research showed.
There is currently a “large reservoir of antimicrobial resistance” (AMR) both “within Australia and at our doorstep”, Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory deputy director Deborah Williamson and colleagues said.
“We face a situation where common bacterial infections may again become untreatable, and the vulnerable in society capitulate to infection,” the researchers warned.
FOOTNOTE FROM THE DYNAVYTE VET: "Finding alternatives to antimicrobials for production animals".
Synbiotics: An alternative to antimicrobials.
Dynavyte MicroBiome Support (MBS) is an example of a synbiotic.
Antibiotics have been used as growth promotants in animal production since the 1930’s.
Antibiotics were and still are used to decrease bacteria to improve growth rates in production animals (eg chickens, pigs, beef cattle, dairy cows, lambs, aquaculture - fish, etc).
Results from scientific research show that synbiotics ( prebiotics plus probiotics) may be used as growth promotants.
Synbiotics are considered the safer alternative to antimicrobials for consumer health and the consequences of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
AMR is the basis for scientific logic behind finding alternatives to antimicrobial use. The aim is to reduce antimicrobial usage and decrease the chance of AMR for people’s safety.
AMR FACT SHEET: