Footpad dermatitis in a NAGP program
Healthy animals just like healthy people, don’t need antimicrobials, and not all infections and diseases, need to be treated with antibiotics. Misuse, excessive use, or wrong use of antibiotics in humans and animals, is known to be the primary cause of the rise of superbugs, bacteria that have grown resistant to many antibiotics.
Antimicrobial resistance is a global threat, with major economic and health impact. World Bank estimated that drug-resistant infections will be responsible for a drag between 1.1 and 3.8% by 2050, on global GDP (Gross Domestic Products). A two years’ review in the UK concluded that 700,000 deaths each year can be attributed to Antimicrobial resistance.
Life after antibiotics
Antibiotics have been widely used in animal production for many years now, mainly for therapeutic purposes, additionally for prophylaxis, and finally as a growth promoter in sub-therapeutic dosages. In accordance of the Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration of 1992, which arbours the idea, “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty, shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation”, first the developed European countries such as Sweden, and following that the whole European Union area, have banned the use of antibiotic growth promoters, and also have limited the use of molecules that are relevant to human health, in livestock. Finally this year USA has joined the regulation and as well as Far East countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, etc. also are following a strong projection of decreasing the antibiotic usage in general. This positive approach, of course, brings a certain responsibility of such as improving the biosecurity, enhancing management measures, focusing on nutrition, the handling of the digestive tract, the use of functional additives, whilst most important of them focusing on tissue integrity, immunity, reducing oxidative stress, and also aiming to decrease as much as possible the bacterial load, that will be shed to the environment.
The path of Non-Antibiotic Growth Promoters
Understanding basic physiological and biological characteristics of the digestive system nowadays, is a base of modern nutrition of livestock. Gastrointestinal tract proposes the most important task: the nutritional absorption; and therefore its mucosa must be managed to remain undisturbed. Only a healthy intestinal tract can ensure optimal absorption, which is the main gate to the genetical capacity of a growing animal. Focusing on this one essential fact, and delivering right nutritional tools, will make our path to non-antibiotic growth enhancement, easier and smoother.
Prebiotics are defined as non-digestible or partially digestible food ingredients that beneficially stimulate the growth or activity of the beneficial flora. Food ingredients to be classified as prebiotic must have characteristics such as neither to be hydrolyzed nor absorbed in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. A good example would be, MOS (Mannanoligosaccharides) which is derived from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall. Literature shows that bacteria with fimbriae of mannose affinity, such as Escherichia coli or Salmonella spp., will readily attach MOS, and this will avoid them to attach the intestinal mucosa, preventing them to colonize and multiply. This will lead to an increased villi length, and healthy mucosa, with a better resorption surface; and more goblet cells along the gastrointestinal channel.
Reducing antibiotic resistance with monoglycerides and free fatty acids
Antimicrobials have been used in animal feed for about 70 years to treat diseases, boost growth and obtain improvement in productivity (FAO 2018). Use of antibiotics to promote animal growth has been banned in European Union (EU) since January 1, 2006. Europe has done it and USA is in progress. Antimicrobial resistance remains a serious threat to public health worldwide. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, 2017 (ECDC 2017) from many European countries is reported that high percentages of isolates with resistance to key antimicrobial groups still exist which shows great concern and represent a serious threat to patient safety. Overview of the annual morbidity and mortality of antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States, estimating their number at approximately 2 million and the number of death associated with these infections at 23,000 (CDC 2013). Antibiotic Growth Promoters are still used as feed additives in countries outside EU. A radical rethinking of policies to reduce antibiotic consumption and resistant is necessary worldwide.
Less antibiotics with Phytogenics support
Antimicrobial drugs play an important role in the treatment of diseases in human and animals. Misusing antimicrobial drugs will increase the potential risk of spreading antimicrobial resistance and vital medicines will fail when bacteria become resistant to them (FAO, 2018). To combat microbial resistance many studies have been investigating alternative environmental friendly antimicrobial agents from various sources.
Essential oils (Eos) and less antibiotics:
Essential Oils (EOs) are concentrated natural products with a strong smell which are produced by aromatic plants (different part of herbs) as secondary metabolites. They enhance production of digestive secretions, stimulate blood circulation, exert antioxidant properties, reduce levels of pathogenic bacteria and may enhance immune status (Brenes and Roura, 2010). They have a small proportion of a wet weight of plant material and extracting methods would cause different activities of different EOs (Bouhaddouda et al., 2016). EOs activities as alternatives to antibiotics have been investigated and various researchers have studied on different essential oils as alternatives to antibiotics. They have been playing a very important role to cope antibiotic resistant threat. EOs have different compounds varied in their exact chemical composition and concentration due to factors such as seasonal variation, climate, and oil-extraction method (Santoyo et al., 2006). Mathlouthi N, et al., 2012 found that rosemary and oregano oil resulted in the same amount of growth in chickens as the antibiotic avilamycin, and the oils killed bacteria too. EOs could also reduce salmonella in chickens (Cerisuelo A, et al., 2014).
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What is Antimicrobial resistance and how does it spread?