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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Donoghue, Ann - Annie
item Guillermo, Tellez
item Huff, William
item Hargis, Billy
item Donoghue, Dan

Submitted to: National Association of Specialists of Avian Science
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2003
Publication Date: 4/30/2003
Citation: Donoghue, A.M., Guillermo, T., Huff, W.E., Hargis, B., Donoghue, D. Antimicrobial therapy and prophylaxis:emerging issues and alternatives to chemotherapy. Proceedings of National Association of Specialists of Avian Science. 2004 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Antibiotics have been used as therapeutic agents in agriculture since the 1940s and at subtherapeutic levels as food additives to improve feed conversion of domestic poultry since the 1950's. However, the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry, both at therapeutic and subtherapeutic levels, is thought by some to add to the problem of the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. The emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria has been the basis for considerations to eliminate or severely restrict the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry. Such restriction would make the poultry industry vulnerable to an increase in bacterial disease of food safety importance. These diseases would significantly increase the risk of pathogen contamination of poultry products, increase the cost of poultry production, and decrease poultry welfare. Therefore, there is a real need to find effective and practical alternatives to antibiotics for poultry production. The goals of this presentation is to explore the possibilities of developing alternative strategies to antibiotics and to provide background for the companion talks in this session. The challenges faced by the poultry industry to find alternatives to antibiotics provides an opportunity to enhance our understanding of gastrointestinal function and disease resistance. Because of our reliance on and the efficacy of antimicrobial chemicals, alternatives have not been explored until recently. This challenge allows us to rediscover earlier alternatives to antibiotics, such as bacteriophage; improve on current technologies, such as competitive exclusion; and explore the potential of new applications in the area of pre and probiotics.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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