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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Monitoring of Antimicrobial Resistance in Food Animal Production

Location: Bacterial Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Resistance

Title: An Ecological Perspective on Antimicrobial Resistance

item Cray, Paula

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 2012
Publication Date: April 20, 2012
Citation: Cray, P.J. 2012. An Ecological Perspective on Antimicrobial Resistance [abstract]. National Council of Chain Restaurant Task Force. April 20, 2012, Washington, DC.

Technical Abstract: Bacteria are ubiquitous, covering every ecological niche known to man. Within these ecological niches bacterial populations adapt to ensure their survival and the development of antimicrobial resistance is an example of a bacterium's ability to adapt and survive. Resistance to antimicrobials often develops shortly after their introduction and use into both human and animal medicine. However, the fate of resistant microbial populations is often confounded by environmental factors including exposure to related compounds, low level exposure, immune status and dissemination to and adaptation in ecological niches that favor their persistence. While overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in human medicine plays a major role in the resistance currently reported, the use of antimicrobials in animal production is also of concern. The study of specific ecological niches, including farm environments, flyways, waterways, and animals themselves provides us with the opportunity to assess the role each plays in the development and dissemination of resistant bacteria. This presentation will provide an overview of the history, development and ecology of antimicrobial resistance.

Last Modified: 8/27/2016
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