GLOBAL - The miracle drugs of the 20th century are in danger of running out of power. Antibiotic use in both humans and animals is contributing to a reservoir of resistant bacteria resulting in increased human mortality and increased hospital stay lengths globally, writes Øistein Thorsen.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns the misuse of antimicrobial medicines and new resistance mechanisms are “making the latest generation of antibiotics virtually ineffective”, while at the 2013 G8 Summit, scientific ministers issued a statement calling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) “a major health security challenge of the twenty first century.”
Antibiotic use is an integral part of intensive animal agriculture and aquaculture. Increased public concern about antibiotic resistance and the need to preserve the ever-diminishing arsenal of antimicrobials that work in humans for as long as possible, has brought about increased scrutiny of the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture – especially for prophylactic and growth enhancing purposes.