Food-animal antibiotic use assessed

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In a risk assessment conducted by leading food safety, public health and veterinary experts, the macrolide antibiotics tylosin and tilmicosin both were found to be safe for use in food-animal production in terms of public health.

The researchers specifically looked at the potential impact of macrolide antibiotics on human health. They found that the risk for someone in the U.S. to have treatment failure due to the acquisition of antibiotic resistant foodborne bacteria from eating meat or poultry from animals that have been provided or treated with either tylosin or tilmicosin is very low. In fact this risk is:

  •   Less than one in 10 million for resistant campylobacter.
  •   Less than one in three billion for resistant Enerococcus faecium.

While antibiotic resistance in humans is growing in the United States, use in food animals is not to blame, says Ronald N. Jones, The Jones Group/JMI Labs in North Liberty, Iowa. “Surveillance data from the SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program and other monitoring programs clearly shows a disconnect between antibiotic resistance patterns in humans and animals.”

The research results were presented at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Chicago last week.

Elanco Animal Health press release



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