XVETs’ stand on Antibiotic Awareness Week by World Health Organization
Antibiotics are antimicrobial agents which have been employed to inhibit infections caused by bacteria. We have to mention of course that antibiotics have revolutionized human health and animal production. Antibiotics were widely used for treatment purposes, and in sub-therapeutic dosages as a growth promoter or prophylaxis in animal production. However due to the abuse, and the inclusion of human antibiotics into this practice, lately the ideal of “farm-to-fork” safe food concept has been altered, resulting in considerable risks for consumers. The biggest being antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and their impact on human health. Those molecules which became ineffective through bacterial resistance, are causing now higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased death cases. Surprisingly, 25,000 people are dying each year across Europe from antimicrobial-resistant infections. Moreover, U.K. government estimates that drug-resistant microbes could cause more than 10 million deaths, and cost the global economy $100 trillion by the year 2050.
In the course of some decades, this real threat of resistance has been directing main markets and regions, to establish a worldwide team-work to recover and turn back the antibiotic resistance. Starting from Europe, later Northern America and now Far-East Asian countries are joining to this movement, obviously being aware that the recovery to the problem won’t be successful without a collective understanding of ways to produce food. The current activities to reduce inappropriate antibiotic usage needs even a more exhaustive approach, and for that, the European Parliament recently has approved new restrictions on the use of antibiotics on healthy farm animals, in a bid to halt the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
The new legislation, which will become law by 2022, ban the use of human reserve antibiotics in veterinary medicine absolutely, and the use of unprescribed animal antimicrobials. Vets will have to provide data on total quantity used and sold of antimicrobial medicines, and imported foods will need to meet EU standards, particularly on the type of growth enhancement that has been applied.
XVET GmbH solutions, to reduce conventional treatments and to promote preventive approach, has been our flagship purpose since our establishment. As well since one year, we have been defending our ideas also through our special website http://lessantibiotics.com/. XVET GmbH has been always highly involved in raising awareness regarding antimicrobial resistance.
Our main strategies for reducing antibiotic reduction are:
Disease management: Involves; maintaining animal health in basis of systems such as hepatic, respiratory, digestive, renal and skeletal integrity. Also applying proper farm management of water, feed, ventilation and feces management.
Biosecurity: Good prophylaxis is very cost effective for farmers and is the main key to not using antibiotics. Controlling diseases by veterinary support will positively cover all other factors which must be considered in biosecurity.
Nutrition Plan: In our times, animal nutrition knowledge, technology, and science is very extensive. Exhaustive studies of the requirements of each type of animal, even on farm basis is perfectly possible. This vast opportunity when combined with safe delivery of feed and water, will ensure an adequate supply of safe nutrients, which later will be translated by the host as a defense system and cost-effective growth.
The Alternatives: Natural or botanical nutraceuticals, phytogenics, organic acids, probiotics or prebiotics may be of help to prevent problems that may occur in farms, that are under certain pressure of infections, especially in the absence of antibiotics.
Know-how: Adequate sharing of knowledge and experiences between science, industry, and farmers will spread the valuable progress and therefore developing a suitable and personalized NAGP program.
Antibiotics could fight both bacteria and inflammation. What comes after Antibiotics?
Metabolic inflammation, either clinical or subclinical, is a serious challenge in modern animal production, which reduces profitability, alters resistance and lowers health quality. Oxidative stress, certain mycotoxins, social stress, elevated temperatures, humidity, ammonia, infections, fast growth rates, and certainly dysbiosis of the gut microbiome could cause inflammation. Especially an inflammation of the intestinal mucosa can increment the disbalance the gut microbiota, and create a domination of pathobionts (Organisms associated with chronic inflammation) that will become a consequent problem, if not handled carefully. Long lasting inflammation will weaken the animals and makes them susceptible to any other external factor. Furthermore, a small increase in body temperature due to inflammation will cause high energy loss and will cost feed conversion through immunity and antibodies.
Inflammation is not what we want. What is the solution?
Inflammation is directly affecting animal welfare. Some antibacterial agents are known to have benefits over inflammatory processes, although the detailed mechanism by which antibiotics block inflammation are not clearly understood. Antibiotics have the ability to modulate the immune system as well. They may also influence the inflammatory immune response independent of whether or not bacteria are present.
Nowadays due to the reduction of routine antibiotics usage, inflammation has become a common side effect and the need for anti-inflammatory agents has become more obvious. Especially some botanical extracts or essential oils have proven activities in reducing inflammation. Some of this activity can be explained by the inhibition of cytokines production by inflammatory cells. But it is crucial to know and understand, that other factors must be managed as well to have a proper result by using the mentioned alternatives.