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Massive projected increase in use of antimicrobials in animals could lead to widespread antimicrobial resistance in humans

last modified Oct 31, 2017 01:30 PM
The amount of antimicrobials given to animals destined for human consumption is expected to rise by a staggering 52% and reach 200,000 tonnes by 2030 unless policies are implemented to limit their use, according to new research.

Researchers from ETH Zürich, Princeton, and the University of Cambridge conducted the first global assessment of different intervention policies that could help limit the projected increase of antimicrobial use in food production. Their results, reported in the journal Science, represent an alarming revision from already pessimistic estimates made in 2010, pushed up mostly by recent reports of high antimicrobial use in animals in China.

In modern animal farming, large quantities of antimicrobials are used for disease prevention and for growth promotion. “Worldwide, animals receive almost triple the amount of antibiotics that people do, although much of this use is not medically necessary, and many new strains of antibiotic-resistant infections are now common in people after originating in our livestock,” said co-author Emma Glennon, a Gates Scholar and PhD student at Cambridge’s Department of Veterinary Medicine. “As global demand for meat grows and agriculture continues to transition from extensive farming and smallholdings to more intensive practices, the use of antimicrobials in food production will increasingly threaten the efficacy of these life-saving drugs.”

 

For further details, please see the source article here.

The Global Challenges Initiative is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

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