Khachatourians1998 - Agricultural use of antibiotics and...

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Agricultural use of antibiotics and the evolution and transfer of antibiotic-resistant bacteria George G. Khachatourians, BA, MA, PhD Abstract M ICROBIAL RESISTANCE TO ANTIBIOTICS IS ON THE RISE , in part because of inappropriate use of antibiotics in human medicine but also because of practices in the agricul- tural industry. Intensive animal production involves giving livestock animals large quantities of antibiotics to promote growth and prevent infection. These uses pro- mote the selection of antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations. The resistant bacteria from agricultural environments may be transmitted to humans, in whom they cause disease that cannot be treated by conventional antibiotics. The author reviews trends in antibiotic use in animal husbandry and agriculture in general. The development of resistance is described, along with the genetic mechanisms that create resistance and facilitate its spread among bacterial species. Particular as- pects of resistance in bacterial species common to both the human population and the agrifood industry are emphasized. Control measures that might reverse the cur- rent trends are highlighted. Résumé L A RÉSISTANCE MICROBIENNE AUX ANTIBIOTIQUES EST À LA HAUSSE , en partie parce qu’on utilise mal les antibiotiques en médecine humaine, mais aussi à cause des pratiques de l’industrie agricole. En élevage intensif d’animaux, on administre aux bestiaux d’importantes quantités d’antibiotiques afin de favoriser la croissance et de prévenir les infections. Ces utilisations sont propices à la résistance aux antibiotiques dans les populations bactériennes. Les bactéries résistantes de l’environnement agricole peuvent être transmises aux humains chez qui elles peuvent causer des maladies impossibles à traiter au moyen d’antibiotiques classiques. L’auteur passe en revue les tendances de l’utilisation des antibiotiques en élevage et dans l’agriculture en général. Il décrit l’apparition de la résistance, ainsi que les mécanismes génétiques qui créent la résistance et en facilitent la propagation dans les souches bactériennes. On insiste sur des aspects particuliers de la résistance de souches bactériennes communes à la population humaine et à l’industrie agroalimentaire. On met en évi- dence des mesures de contrôle qui pourraient casser les tendances actuelles. O ver the recent past the public has become increasingly alarmed by new scientific data that have made their way into the popular media about the connection between the overuse of antibiotics (or, more accurately, an- timicrobial drugs) in both medicine and the agriculture–agrifood industry and the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 1–4
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course BIO 173 taught by Professor Ammerlaan during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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Khachatourians1998 - Agricultural use of antibiotics and...

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