Cow at a farm in Saniliurfa, Turkey: Regions associated with high rates of antimicrobial resistance in animals are in China, India, Brazil, Iran and Turkey.
Photo: ©FAO/Barkin Bulbul 

27.09.2019

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A new open-access web platform provides an overview on antimicrobial resistance in animals worldwide. Drugs used in animal farming are rapidly losing their efficacy, researchers warn. Antimicrobial resistance is rising in developing and emerging countries because of growing meat consumption and unregulated access to veterinary antimicrobials.

Antimicrobial-resistant infections are increasing rapidly in animals in low- and middle-income countries, the ETH Zurich reported in September 2019. In certain regions, the antimicrobials most frequently used in animals have almost completely lost their efficacy to treat infections.

To show where and in which animals species resistance occurred for the common foodborne bacteria Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter and Staphylococcus, researchers created the open-access web platform www.resistancebank.org.

Limited surveillance capacities in low- and middle-income countries 

To meet the growing global meat demand, animal husbandry has been intensified, with among other things, an increased reliance on the use of antimicrobials. Farmers use antimicrobials to treat and prevent infections for animals raised in crowded conditions, but these drugs are also used to increase weight gain, and thus improve profitability.

Such excessive and indiscriminate use of antimicrobials has serious consequences: the proportion of bacteria resistant to antimicrobials is rapidly increasing around the world, the researchers say.

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