Commentary: Global resistance to antimicrobials and their sustainable use in agriculture


Abstract: Decision-making on antimicrobial use relies on an interdependent mix of economic, behavioural, ethical, and cultural factors. In animal agriculture, antimicrobials are used to achieve: economic objectives, via optimisation of farm benefits related to sale of animal derived foodstuffs; animal welfare objectives, by ensuring good health at individual and herd levels; and public health objectives, via limiting risk of zoonotic diseases. There is evidence showing the effect of antimicrobial use in animal agriculture on antimicrobial resistance in humans. The growing magnitude of this public health issue is encouraging the development and implementation of policies such as voluntary agreements, taxes, or permits, to decrease antimicrobial use in food-producing animals. The growing scientific literature spanning from microbiology, agricultural and environmental sciences, medicine and public health, pharmaceutical development, and ethics and law, to behaviour and economics, provides evidence for the public commitment dedicated to tackle antimicrobial resistance. Additionally, other research stresses the importance of understanding anthropological and socioeconomic factors contributing to antimicrobial resistance, and pinpoints that there are gaps in the global governance of this issue. An appropriate and functional scientific framework can help to integrate different strategies to curb antimicrobial resistance.

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Citation: . Commentary: Global resistance to antimicrobials and their sustainable use in agriculture.