Measuring the Prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistance and Pathogens
Public apprehension about using antibiotics in livestock production is increasing along with concerns about antimicrobial resistance. Measures have been implemented in Canada that include a total ban on livestock feed with antibiotics and strict regulations on using antibiotics as a treatment for sick animals. Producers can also choose to adopt the raised without antibiotic (RWA) production practices which involves not using any antibiotics in the pigs life while not compromising welfare. It is unclear how effective these strategies are in reducing on-farm antibiotic use, the occurrence of pathogens and prevalence of antimicrobial resistance. RWA and non-RWA farms were monitored on their antibiotic usage, resistance and prevalence of pathogens. Most of the antibiotics used were from the classes Blactams, Antifolates, Tetracyclines and Amphenicols. Reasons for use involved scours, limping, respiratory impairment and infection. Different antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) were noted in the barns RWA and non-RWA. RWA barns had reduced multi-drug resistant ARGs and tetracycline ARGs, indicating that mitigating antibiotic resistance for specific antibiotics can be done with RWA programs.