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Antibiotic Resistance Prevalence In The Normal And Clinical Veterinary Samples


An inevitable side effect of the use of antibiotics is the emergence and dissemination of resistant bacteria. Most retrospective and prospective studies show that after the introduction of an antibiotic not only the level of resistance of pathogenic bacteria, but also of commensal bacteria increases. Commensal bacteria constitute a reservior of resistance genes for (potentially) pathogenic bacteria. Their level of resistance is considered to be a good indicator for selection pressure by antibiotic use and for resistance problems to be expected in pathogens. Resistant commensal bacteria of food animals might contaminate, like zoonotic bacteria, meat (products) and so reach the intestinal tract of humans. Monitoring the prevalence of resistance in indicator bacteria such as faecal Escherichia coli and enterococci in different populations, animals, patients and healthy humans, makes it feasible to compare the prevalence of resistance and to detect transfer of resistant bacteria or resistance genes from animals to humans and vice versa. Only in countries that use or used avoparcin (a glycopeptide antibiotic, like vancomycin) as antimicrobial growth promoter (AMGP), is vancomycin resistance common in intestinal enterococci, not only in exposed animals, but also in the human population outside hospitals.

World wide there is growing concern about the increased prevalence of antibiotic resistance. It is now generally accepted that the main risk factor for this increase in resistance in pathogenic bacteria is the increased use of antibiotics. This has inevitable lead to the emergence and dissemination of resistant bacteria and resistance genes. This situation applies to antibiotic usage both in animals and in humans. In both populations antibiotics are used for therapy and prophylaxis of infectious diseases

Approximately 50% of all antibacterial agents used annually in the EU are given to animals . These antibiotics are not only used in veterinary indication for therapy and prevention of bacterial infections, but may also be added continuously to animal feeds to promote growth, increase feed efficacy and decrease waste production Approximately 90% of all antibiotics used for veterinary purposes are given orally to food animals like poultry, pigs and calves, mostly mixed in the feed, but sometimes poured over the feed or dissolved in the drinking water or milk. In the Netherlands, APE are included in nearly all feeds for pigs, broilers and veal calves and the amount of antibiotics used as APE is of the same size of order as that for veterinary purposes, 250 versus 300 tonnes of active drug . In other countries such as the UK the veterinary use is more than three times as high as the use for growth promotion.

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