Special Issue "The Future of Antibiotics in Farm Animal Production Systems"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal System and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Richard Laven
Website
Guest Editor
IVABS, Massey University, Palmerston North 5321, New Zealand
Interests: Cattle; lameness; welfare; reproduction; mastitis; micronutrients

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Antimicrobial resistance has been described as potentially causing the end of modern medicine and England’s Chief Medical Officer has warned of the “post-antibiotic apocalypse”.  The spotlight has fallen on the use of antibiotics in farm animals and how that use has impacted on the development of antimicrobial resistance in human patients. The most recent of these is the development of resistance to colistin which has been linked to its use on pig farms in China. Ironically, colistin, which is an antibiotic that was first used almost 60 years, has only recently become important in humans  because, despite being both nephro- and neurotoxic, it is one of the last-resort antibiotics for treating multidrug-resistant bacteria such Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Antibiotics have a long history in farm animals. For example, penicillin was first used in people in 1942; within three years it was being used to treat mastitis in dairy cows. Unfortunately, so does antimicrobial resistance with the first report of “resistance of chronic staphylococcic bovine mastitis to massive penicillin therapy” occurring in 1947.  Nevertheless, penicillin is still an effective treatment for bovine mastitis more than 70 years after it was first used; similarly cloxacillin, which was first used more than 50 years ago in dry cows, is still an effective means of treating subclinical mastitis at drying off.

Since the introduction of sulphonamides and penicillin there has been a huge expansion in the range and number of antibacterials available in human medicine. Many of those have become available on farm, so we have far more options for treating and preventing disease than we did even 20 years ago. This is undoubtedly a good thing from an animal welfare perspective—better antibiotics lead to higher cure rates. However, the pipeline of new antibiotics is drying up and we need to better preserve those antibiotics that we have, by better management of their use. Additionally, irrespective of the arguments about the importance of antibiotic use in farm animals as a source of resistant bacteria for humans we need to be seen to managing antibiotic use more effectively and more carefully on farms.

The theme of this Special Issue is the future use of antibiotics on farm. Where are we going to be in 20 years’ time, will that be where we want to be and how are we going to get there? These are the key questions that need answering. Or to put it another way: How can we reduce, refine and replace antibiotic use?  We encourage you to submit papers which answer or attempt to answer any of those questions

Dr. Richard Laven
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Antibiotics
  • Farm animals
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Refine
  • Reduce
  • Replace

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Comparison of Defined Course Doses (DCDvet) for Blanket and Selective Antimicrobial Dry Cow Therapy on Conventional and Organic Farms
Animals 2019, 9(10), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100707 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Antimicrobial use in livestock production is a controversial subject. While antimicrobials should be used as little as possible, it is still necessary, from both an animal health and welfare point of view, to treat infected animals. The study presented here aimed to analyse [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial use in livestock production is a controversial subject. While antimicrobials should be used as little as possible, it is still necessary, from both an animal health and welfare point of view, to treat infected animals. The study presented here aimed to analyse antimicrobial use on Austrian dairy farms by calculating the number of Defined Course Doses (DCDvet) administered per cow and year for dry cow therapy. Antimicrobial use was analysed by production system and whether farmers stated that they used blanket dry cow therapy (i.e., all cows in the herd were treated) or selective dry cow therapy (i.e., only cows with a positive bacteriological culture or current/recent history of udder disease were treated). A statistically significant difference (p < 0.001) was determined between antimicrobial use for blanket (median DCDvet/cow/year: 0.88) and selective dry cow therapy (median DCDvet/cow/year: 0.41). The difference between antimicrobial use on conventional and organic farms for dry cow therapy as a whole, however, was not statistically significant (p = 0.22) (median DCDvet/cow/year: 0.68 for conventional; 0.53 for organic farms). This analysis demonstrates that selective dry cow therapy leads to a lower overall use of antimicrobials and can assist in a more prudent use of antimicrobials on dairy farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Antibiotics in Farm Animal Production Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Feeding Different Postbiotics Produced by Lactobacillus plantarum on Growth Performance, Carcass Yield, Intestinal Morphology, Gut Microbiota Composition, Immune Status, and Growth Gene Expression in Broilers under Heat Stress
Animals 2019, 9(9), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090644 - 02 Sep 2019
Cited by 12
Abstract
The effects of feeding different postbiotics on growth performance, carcass yield, intestinal morphology, gut microbiota, immune status, and growth hormone receptor (GHR) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) gene expression in broilers under heat stress were assessed in this study. A total of [...] Read more.
The effects of feeding different postbiotics on growth performance, carcass yield, intestinal morphology, gut microbiota, immune status, and growth hormone receptor (GHR) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) gene expression in broilers under heat stress were assessed in this study. A total of 252 one-day-old male broiler chicks (Cobb 500) were randomly assigned in cages in identical environmentally controlled chambers. During the starter period from 1 to 21 days, all the birds were fed the same basal diet. On day 22, the birds were weighed and randomly divided into six treatment groups and exposed to cyclic high temperature at 36 ± 1 °C for 3 h per day from 11:00 to 14:00 until the end of the experiment. From day 22 to 42 (finisher period), an equal number of birds were subjected to one of the following diets: NC (negative control) basal diet; PC (positive control) basal diet + 0.02% oxytetracycline; or AA (ascorbic acid) basal diet + 0.02% ascorbic acid. The other three groups (RI11, RS5 and UL4) were basal diet + 0.3% different postbiotics (produced from different Lactobacillus plantarum strains, and defined as RI11, RS5 and UL4, respectively). The results demonstrated that birds fed RI11 diets had significantly higher final body weight, total weight gain and average daily gain than the birds that received the NC, PC and AA treatments. The feed conversion ratio was significantly higher in the RI11 group compared with the other groups. Carcass parameters were not affected by the postbiotic-supplemented diet. Postbiotic supplementation improved villi height significantly in the duodenum, jejunum and ileum compared to the NC, PC and AA treatments. The crypt depth of the duodenum and ileum was significantly higher in NC group compared to other treatment groups except RI11 in duodenum, and UL4 in ileum was not different with NC groups. The villus height to crypt depth ratio of duodenum and ileum was significantly higher for the postbiotic treatment groups and AA than the PC and NC treatment groups. The postbiotic RI11 group recorded significantly higher caecum total bacteria and Lactobacillus count and lower Salmonella count compared to the NC and PC treatment groups. The Bifidobacterium population in the NC group was significantly lower compared to the other treatment groups. The postbiotic (RI11, RS5 and UL4) and AA treatment groups showed lower Enterobacteriaceae and E. coli counts and caecal pH than the NC and PC treatment groups. The plasma immunoglobulin M (IgM) level was significantly higher in the birds receiving postbiotic RI11 than those receiving other treatments. The plasma immunoglobulin G (IgG) level was higher in the RI11 treatment group than in the NC, AA and RS5 groups. The plasma immunoglobulin A (IgA) level was not affected by postbiotic supplements. The hepatic GHR mRNA expression level was significantly increased in birds fed postbiotics RI11, RS5 and UL4, AA and PC compared to the NC-fed birds. Postbiotic RI11 led to significantly higher hepatic IGF-1 mRNA expression level compared to the NC, PC, and AA treatments. Mortality was numerically lesser in the postbiotic treatment groups, but not significantly different among all the treatments. In conclusion, among the postbiotics applied in the current study as compared with NC, PC and AA, RI11 could be used as a potential alternative antibiotic growth promoter and anti-stress treatment in the poultry industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Antibiotics in Farm Animal Production Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
A Case-Series Report on The Use of a Salicylic Acid Bandage as a Non-Antibiotic Treatment for Early Detected, Non-Complicated Interdigital Phlegmon in Dairy Cows
Animals 2019, 9(4), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040129 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Interdigital phlegmon (IP) is an important cause of lameness in cattle. The aim of this study was to evaluate the treatment effect of a salicylic acid bandage in the interdigital space in dairy cows with early detected IP. Dairy cows (n = 109) [...] Read more.
Interdigital phlegmon (IP) is an important cause of lameness in cattle. The aim of this study was to evaluate the treatment effect of a salicylic acid bandage in the interdigital space in dairy cows with early detected IP. Dairy cows (n = 109) with IP diagnosed and treated by the farmer were included in the study. On day 0, the rectal temperature, general condition, coronary circumference, and lameness score were recorded. The cow was immobilized in a trimming chute and the interdigital space was cleaned and inspected. For treatment, 1–2 tablespoons of 100% salicylic acid powder were applied into the interdigital space followed by bandaging of the hoof. On days 1–2 and days 3–5, the rectal temperature, the general condition, and the lameness score were recorded. On days 3–5, the cow was restrained, the bandage was taken off, and the coronary circumference was recorded again. Treatment of IP with salicylic acid gave a satisfactory treatment result. Within three–five days, treated cows responded with reduced lameness, lower body temperature, decreased coronary swelling, and an improved general condition compared to the day when the treatment started. Salicylic acid therefore proved to be an alternative in the treatment of early-detected non-complicated IP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Antibiotics in Farm Animal Production Systems)
Open AccessArticle
Spread of an Experimental Salmonella Derby Infection in Antibiotic-Treated or Lawsonia intracellularis Vaccinated Piglets
Animals 2018, 8(11), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110206 - 12 Nov 2018
Abstract
Lawsonia intracellularis infections are a common reason for antibiotic treatment in pig production. Experimental studies in animals naturally infected with Lawsonia intracellularis comparing the course of an experimental Salmonella infection in piglets previously treated with tylosin or vaccinated against Lawsonia intracellularis are scarce. [...] Read more.
Lawsonia intracellularis infections are a common reason for antibiotic treatment in pig production. Experimental studies in animals naturally infected with Lawsonia intracellularis comparing the course of an experimental Salmonella infection in piglets previously treated with tylosin or vaccinated against Lawsonia intracellularis are scarce. A total of 72 seven-week-old Salmonella-free pigs were taken from a herd with a Lawsonia intracellularis history in piglet rearing. The pigs were divided into two groups with three replicates each. Animals had either been previously treated with tylosin (10 mg/kg body weight) for seven days (AB+VAC) or had been vaccinated as suckling pigs by drenching (Enterisol®Ileitis; ABVAC+). Two animals per replicate were primarily infected with Salmonella Derby (1.04 × 108 colony-forming units per animal). The detection of Salmonella in faeces (p < 0.0001, odds ratio: 3.8364) and in the ileocaecal lymph nodes (p = 0.0295, odds ratio: 3.5043) was significantly more frequent in AB+VAC animals. Overall, the odds ratio for detecting Salmonella in any substrate or organ was significantly higher in the AB+VAC group animals (p = 0.0004, odds ratio: 5.9091). Treatment with tylosin can significantly increase the spread of a Salmonella infection, which is not observed after early Lawsonia intracellularis vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Antibiotics in Farm Animal Production Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Antibiotic Use on Goat Farms: An Investigation of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Missouri Goat Farmers
Animals 2018, 8(11), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110198 - 06 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Use of low dose, prophylactic antibiotics contributes to the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In one study, goat meat in Missouri was found to have a higher percentage of antibiotic residues at slaughter than the national average, so we attempted to identify factors [...] Read more.
Use of low dose, prophylactic antibiotics contributes to the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In one study, goat meat in Missouri was found to have a higher percentage of antibiotic residues at slaughter than the national average, so we attempted to identify factors related to goat production that may contribute to this issue. Using the knowledge, attitude, and behavior (KAB) model, we interviewed 11 Missouri goat farmers about factors affecting antibiotic use. Most of the farmers did not have specific protocols for managing illnesses and only relied on veterinarians for major health issues. Many felt veterinarians lacked knowledge about goat medicine so instead relied on other farmers’ or their own experiences for treatment modalities. While most agreed that antibiotic resistance was a concern, only 4 of the 11 indicated that they only used antibiotics when prescribed by the veterinarian. Veterinarians should be relied on and valued for their medical expertise, but they are not always being utilized in this manner. Therefore, veterinary education should emphasize goat health management to a greater extent than it currently does, and soft skills to build collaborative relationships with farmers should be taught to promote preventative health measures and more judicious use of antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Antibiotics in Farm Animal Production Systems)
Open AccessArticle
Supplementing Oregano Essential Oil in a Reduced-Protein Diet Improves Growth Performance and Nutrient Digestibility by Modulating Intestinal Bacteria, Intestinal Morphology, and Antioxidative Capacity of Growing-Finishing Pigs
Animals 2018, 8(9), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090159 - 19 Sep 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of supplementing oregano essential oil (OEO) to a reduced-protein diet on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, intestinal bacteria, intestinal morphology, and antioxidative capacity of growing-finishing pigs. Forty-eight barrows were randomly allotted to four treatments including normal-protein diet (NPD), reduced-protein, [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of supplementing oregano essential oil (OEO) to a reduced-protein diet on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, intestinal bacteria, intestinal morphology, and antioxidative capacity of growing-finishing pigs. Forty-eight barrows were randomly allotted to four treatments including normal-protein diet (NPD), reduced-protein, amino acid-supplemented diet (RPD), the same RPD supplemented with chlortetracycline (RPA), and RPD supplemented with OEO (RPO). The data showed that dietary OEO supplementation increased the average daily gain of pigs compared with NPD and RPD. The gain:feed in RPO- and NPD-fed pigs was higher than those in RPD- and RPA-fed pigs. Increased average daily feed intake and 10th-rib backfat thickness were detected in RPA-fed pigs. Pigs fed the RPO had higher apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of crude protein than those fed the other diets. The RPD and RPA treatments showed reduced counts of Lactobacillus spp. in ileal digesta of pigs. The RPA and RPO treatments also showed lower Escherichia coli counts in ileal digesta than the NPD and RPD treatments. Dietary OEO supplementation increased villous height of the jejunum and the ileal and plasma total antioxidative capacity of pigs. In conclusion, dietary OEO supplementation could improve the growth performance and nutrient digestibility of pigs by modulating intestinal bacteria, intestinal morphology, and antioxidative capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Antibiotics in Farm Animal Production Systems)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Antimicrobial Resistance in Farm Animals in Brazil: An Update Overview
Animals 2020, 10(4), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040552 - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
In animal husbandry, antimicrobial agents have been administered as supplements to increase production over the last 60 years. Large-scale animal production has increased the importance of antibiotic management because it may favor the evolution of antimicrobial resistance and select resistant strains. Brazil is [...] Read more.
In animal husbandry, antimicrobial agents have been administered as supplements to increase production over the last 60 years. Large-scale animal production has increased the importance of antibiotic management because it may favor the evolution of antimicrobial resistance and select resistant strains. Brazil is a significant producer and exporter of animal-derived food. Although Brazil is still preparing a national surveillance plan, several changes in legislation and timely programs have been implemented. Thus, Brazilian data on antimicrobial resistance in bacteria associated with animals come from official programs and the scientific community. This review aims to update and discuss the available Brazilian data on this topic, emphasizing legal aspects, incidence, and genetics of the resistance reported by studies published since 2009, focusing on farm animals and derived foods with the most global public health impact. Studies are related to poultry, cattle, and pigs, and mainly concentrate on non-typhoid Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. We also describe legal aspects of antimicrobial use in this context; and the current occurrence of genetic elements associated with resistance to beta-lactams, colistin, and fluoroquinolones, among other antimicrobial agents. Data here presented may be useful to provide a better understanding of the Brazilian status on antimicrobial resistance related to farm animals and animal-derived food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Antibiotics in Farm Animal Production Systems)
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