New Study to Monitor Antibiotic Resistance in Livestock reports Aussie Vet Products
Pfizer Animal Health Australia spearheads new animal study
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory scientists will research the prevalence of resistance to all major classes of antibiotics for Escherichia coli and staphylococci, two key groups of pathogens in livestock animals that can be found in pets as well.
The Director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Dr. Darren Trott, said, “Australia currently has no coordinated national program monitoring antibiotic resistance in livestock or companion animal pathogens. Resistance in these key pathogens is a major driver throughout the world of the use of antimicrobial drugs for livestock and companion animals."
According to Dr. Trott, Australia has some of the world's most conservative restrictions on antimicrobial drug use in livestock.
Trott said: “Australian producers do not use broad-spectrum antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones or gentamicin in livestock production, and usage of the antibiotic ceftiofur is governed by strict label requirements. However, our country is increasingly importing fresh food from countries where these antimicrobial drugs are used indiscriminately in both animals and humans. Australia's primary producers are under great pressure, having to compete with cheap imported products that are often of inferior quality.”
Dr. Trott said the hopes of the study are to provide a better picture of the state of Australian livestock, which has been under recent scrutiny.
"We're currently establishing a network of university-based, private and government veterinary microbiology laboratories throughout Australia that can supply us with the bacteria isolated from animal infections. These will give us a good indication of how prevalent antibiotic resistance is in our animal populations.”
Trott continued saying, “We expect our study will confirm that Australia has low rates of resistance to important classes of drug in these key animal pathogens, relative to other countries, which will be good news for our exporters. If we identify any hot pockets of emerging resistance, mitigation strategies can be implemented quickly.”
Dr. Trott finished with some words of hope and aspiration for the future saying, "Over the next few years, we hope our data will positively influence the prescribing practices of veterinarians in the field, whether they are involved in livestock, companion animals, or both. Pfizer Australia has shown leadership in commencing the program and establishing the network. Further government research funding would be required to keep the surveillance ongoing.”
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