Health

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Superbugs need to be on everyone’s agenda

One of the topics of the recently held VIV summit Latin America in Buenos Aires was the reduction of antibiotics in poultry husbandry. For many it was a hard nut to crack.

EXPERT

On one hand, there is a tradition of using antibiotics, partly for growth promotion, but mainly for disease management. On the other hand, only a small part of the worldwide antimicrobial resistance can be directly related to poultry production. Some might argue that the implications of producing poultry without or with only a minimal amount of antibiotics far outweigh the effect on humanity when it comes to resistant bugs.

Of course this is just a theory. With politics and societal pressure full on, no single sector in human or veterinarian medicine can do without an action plan. Antimicrobial resistance and the so called superbugs need to be on everyone’s agenda.

Superbug poses risks for workers and consumers

In 2016-9 edition of World Poultry, Dr Robert Skov, study leader, shares his work on poultry related MRSA. A bacteria that is in effect being transmitted via the handling and consumption of poultry meat, proven by genetic profiling of the bugs found. This happened in Denmark, in only 10 proven cases, with limited monitoring and research. That said, if one could argue that the poultry sector is responsible for 10 fatalities, just by doing nothing, there is a horrible PR-scenario in the making. Luckily antibiotic reduction is on the agenda, but it will be a long and curvy road before the poultry sector can say that it is playing no part in antimicrobial resistance instead of only a little part.

Fabian Brockötter

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