Antimicrobial resistance and its emergence

The use of antimicrobials in animals closely parallels their discovery and usage in humans. Sulfonamide was the first antimicrobial to be introduced to food animal medicine in the 1940s. Antimicrobial resistance emerges from the use of antimicrobials in animals and the subsequent transfer of resistance genes and bacteria among animals and animal products and the environment. Antibiotics are also given to food animals for growth promotion and prophylactic medication. In 2011, a total of 13.6 million kilograms of antimicrobials were sold for use in food-producing animals in the United States, which represents 80% of all antibiotics sold or distributed in the United States. Of the antibiotics given to animals from 2009 through 2013, just above 60% distributed for food animal use are "medically-important" drugs, that are also used in humans. The rest are drug classes like ionophores which are not used in human medicine. here are also global concerns over the use of antibiotics for growth promotion or therapy purposes because of the potential for some drugs to enter the human food chain despite rigorous withdrawal measures and testing to prevent antibiotic residues in food, increasing antibiotic resistance in animals, a potential although largely unproven link to antibiotic-resistant infections in humans, and what some consider antibiotic misuse. When government regulation restricts use of antibiotics the negative economic impact is not often considered.

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