The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) recently published a white paper for the 2013 symposium, Bridging the Gap between Animal Health and Human Health, a continuation and extension of two previous symposiums, Antibiotic Use in Food Animals: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose in 2011 and A One Health Approach to Antimicrobial Use & Resistance: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose in 2012.
The goals of the 2013 and the past symposiums have been the same, supportive of the NIAA’s mission to continue forging a new path for a strong relationship between farmers, veterinarians, experts, drug companies and others, in order to resolve antibiotic resistance.
Twenty presentations were given by a range of experts on antibiotic use and resistance, which addressed many items, including the following:
- Due to wide mistreatment of antibiotics and a wide array of viewpoints, our knowledge of antibiotic resistance requires further study and clarification. There are many facets to antimicrobial resistance; if you believe you have a 100% understanding, then you haven’t received an accurate explanation.
- The relationship between animal, human and environmental health is compelled by the following: 1) the fact that antimicrobial resistance is bound to happen—its existence is natural and present, regardless of the use of antimicrobials; 2) when an antibiotic gains access to the ecosystem, there is a possibility that it will advance antibiotic resistance.
- Antibiotic resistance can be transferred between animals and humans, and vice versa.
- Antibiotic resistance is present in livestock, humans and companion animals, or pets.
- Antibiotic resistance is a global issue, not just an issue in the US.
- Meat manufacturing needs to follow current regulations, including correcting our mistreatment of animal antibiotics.
- Working towards decreasing the prevalence of antibiotic resistance requires collaboration. We must ask ourselves, “How does human health, environmental health and animal health work together to address antibiotic use and resistance?”.
- And much more.
Though the symposium brought key experts in human and veterinary medicine together to debate on the best approach to solving antibiotic resistance, there is still much to be done. We must closely observe and gain a better understanding of antibiotic resistance, as well as improve the motivation for advancing new antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance doesn’t originate from one source; the best way to focus on the issue is to streamline the system and eradicate any confusion.
January 28, 2014
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