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Article

Risk Factors for Antimicrobial Use on Irish Pig Farms

1
Pig Development Department, Teagasc, The Irish Food and Agriculture Authority, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co Cork P61 C996, Ireland
2
School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4 D04 W6F6, Ireland
3
School of Public Health, University College Cork, Cork T12 K8AF, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Epidemiology Research Unit, Department of Veterinary and Animal Science, Northern Faculty, Scotland’s Rural College, An Lòchran, 10 Inverness Campus, Inverness, Scotland IV2 5NA, UK.
Current address: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dublin Port, Dublin D02 WK12, Ireland.
Academic Editor: Sangeeta Rao
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2828; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102828
Received: 1 September 2021 / Revised: 22 September 2021 / Accepted: 25 September 2021 / Published: 28 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosecurity and Antimicrobial Use in Animal Production)
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major threat to public health. There are concerns that antimicrobial use (AMU) in agriculture has a role in the development of AMR. Pigs are one of the main consumers of veterinary antimicrobials and a better understanding of the drivers for AMU in this sector will help in efforts to reduce use. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between antimicrobial use, farm characteristics, biosecurity, the presence of respiratory disease on the farm and health management practices on Irish pig farms. Farms that manufactured their feed on-site had lower total AMU than farms that purchased their feed from a feed mill. Higher levels of lung abscesses and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around the heart), both indicators of respiratory disease, were associated with increased AMU. Higher levels of pericarditis were also associated with increased use of critically important antimicrobials. Farms vaccinating against swine influenza also had higher AMU. Farms that administered prophylactic antimicrobial treatments to piglets had higher use of individual treatments and critically important antimicrobials. The results from this study show that prophylaxis and respiratory disease are the main drivers of AMU on Irish pig farms. These findings highlight areas of farm management where interventions may aid in reducing AMU on Irish pig farms.
The threat to public health posed by antimicrobial resistance in livestock production means that the pig sector is a particular focus for efforts to reduce antimicrobial use (AMU). This study sought to investigate the risk factors for AMU in Irish pig production. Antimicrobial use data were collected from 52 farrow-to-finish farms. The risk factors investigated were farm characteristics and performance, biosecurity practices, prevalence of pluck lesions at slaughter and serological status for four common respiratory pathogens and vaccination and prophylactic AMU practices. Linear regression models were used for quantitative AMU analysis and risk factors for specific AMU practices were investigated using logistic regression. Farms that milled their own feed had lower total AMU (p < 0.001), whereas higher finisher mortality (p = 0.043) and vaccinating for swine influenza (p < 0.001) increased AMU. Farms with higher prevalence of pericarditis (p = 0.037) and lung abscesses (p = 0.046) used more group treatments. Farms with higher prevalence of liver milk spot lesions (p = 0.018) and farms practising prophylactic AMU in piglets (p = 0.03) had higher numbers of individual treatments. Farms practising prophylactic AMU in piglets (p = 0.002) or sows (p = 0.062) had higher use of cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. This study identified prophylactic use and respiratory disease as the main drivers for AMU in Irish pig production. These findings highlight areas of farm management where interventions may aid in reducing AMU on Irish pig farms. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial use; biosecurity; Ireland; pigs; respiratory disease; risk factors antimicrobial use; biosecurity; Ireland; pigs; respiratory disease; risk factors
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MDPI and ACS Style

O’Neill, L.; Calderón Díaz, J.A.; Rodrigues da Costa, M.; Oakes, S.; Leonard, F.C.; Manzanilla, E.G. Risk Factors for Antimicrobial Use on Irish Pig Farms. Animals 2021, 11, 2828. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102828

AMA Style

O’Neill L, Calderón Díaz JA, Rodrigues da Costa M, Oakes S, Leonard FC, Manzanilla EG. Risk Factors for Antimicrobial Use on Irish Pig Farms. Animals. 2021; 11(10):2828. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102828

Chicago/Turabian Style

O’Neill, Lorcan, Julia A. Calderón Díaz, Maria Rodrigues da Costa, Sinnead Oakes, Finola C. Leonard, and Edgar G. Manzanilla. 2021. "Risk Factors for Antimicrobial Use on Irish Pig Farms" Animals 11, no. 10: 2828. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102828

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