DMU academics help to tackle antibiotic resistance

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For years, FDA, USDA, and various industry stakeholders have sought to tackle public health concerns associated with the use of medically important antibiotics to promote growth or feed efficiency in food-producing animals.

"We are all in this fight together, but the Awareness week is about bringing the message to all New Zealanders - so they can understand that when they see a health professional, they may increasingly hear a message that antibiotics just aren't the answer for their particular health issue".

He said there are at least three ways people misuse antibiotics.

He added: "We can all help to reduce antibiotic resistance by only taking antibiotics when they are prescribed".

World Antibiotic Awareness Week is being observed from November 13 to 19, under the theme "Antibiotic, the End of an Era".

Inappropriate use of antibiotics, such as taking them for viral conditions like flu, or for mild infections that may clear-up without treatment is known to fuel resistance.

The research comes on the back of Public Health England's (PHE) recent 'Keep Antibiotics Working' campaign, aimed at stopping a potential "post-antibiotic apocalypse" caused by too many diseases gaining resistance.

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The WHO said their guidelines contribute directly to the aims of the Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2015 and the Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance, adopted in 2016.

Meanwhile, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has implemented a National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for Enteric Bacteria (NARMS).

For example, antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea has now become nothing short of a major health crisis.

-Don't use oral antibiotics for the treatment of atopic dermatitis unless there is clinical evidence of infection.

According to a case study following the antibiotic ban in Denmark, which was made compulsory in 2000, the ban resulted in greater amounts of antibiotics used to treat animal disease. "Often when you explain all this, people are actually very happy to avoid antibiotic use". In addition, it was found that while resistance to some antibiotics has decreased in animals, resistance to other antibiotics has increased.

The NPA is urging pig producers to sign up to become "Antibiotic Guardians", as World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) gets underway. Throughout the European Union, antibiotic usage for growth promotion purposes has been forbidden since 2006 and some even banned the preventive use of antibiotics. "Are we ready to fork out extra money to enjoy organic meat?" the director-general posed a question regarding the alternative.