Submitted to: Preharvest and Postharvest Food Safety
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2003
Publication Date: 5/3/2004
Citation: Bischoff, K.M., Poole, T.L., Beier, R.C. 2004. Antimicrobial resistance in food animals. In: Beier, R.C., Pillai, S.D., Phillips, T.D., Ziprin, R.L., editors. Preharvest and Postharvest Food Safety: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing Professional. p. 201-211.
Technical Abstract: Antimicrobials are used in animal feed to promote growth and to manage disease. When individual animals display clinical signs of disease, drugs are often administered to the entire herd to treat asymptomatic animals and to prevent the spread of disease. This practice is essential for maintaining herd health and for keeping the animals productive. As more numerous and effective antimicrobials became available, however, producers have increasingly relied on antibiotics for prevention and treatment rather than emphasizing good animal husbandry and hygiene practices. Consequently, the incidence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in animals is increasing, and with it, the concern that drug-resistant enteric bacteria may enter the food chain via meat products. This chapter will discuss the general mechanisms employed by bacteria to resist the action of antimicrobial drugs, as well as the mechanisms responsible for the dissemination of resistance genes. Intervention strategies that are being developed to combat the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance genes among enteric bacteria of food animals also will be presented.