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Use Estimates of In-Feed Antimicrobials in Pig Production in the US

23 February 2012, at 12:00am

In a collaboration among several research institutes, scientists have calculated that the US pig industry uses almost 534 tonnes of chlortetracycline, 166 tonnes of tylosin and 155 tonnes of oxytetracycline annually during the nursery, grower and finisher phases.

As an annual industry estimate for all phases, chlortetracycline had the highest estimated use at 533,973kg. The second and third highest estimates were tylosin and oxytetracycline with estimated annual uses of 165,803kg and 154,956kg, respectively. When considering the development of antimicrobial resistance in food animals, comparing gross use estimates of different antimicrobials is of little value due to differences in potencies, duration of activity, relative effect on target and commensal bacteria, and mechanisms of resistance, according to Dr Michael D. Apley of Kansas State University.

In a paper published in the journal, Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, he and co-authors at Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Fort Collins, Colorado, the University of Minnesota and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians explain that it may be valuable to understand quantities of different antimicrobials used in different ages of pigs and for what applications. The objective of their project was to construct an estimate of antimicrobial use through the feed in swine production in the United States.

Estimates were based on data from the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) Swine 2006 Study and from a 2009 survey of swine-exclusive practitioners. Inputs consisted of number of pigs in a production phase, feed intake per day, dose of the antimicrobial in the feed, and duration of administration. Calculations were performed for a total of 102 combinations of antimicrobials (n=17), production phases (n=2) and reasons for use (n=3).

Calculations were first conducted on farm-level data, and then extrapolated to the US swine population.

Among the nursery phase estimates, chlortetracycline had the largest estimate of use, followed by oxytetracycline and tilmicosin.

In the grower/finisher phase, chlortetracycline also had the largest use estimate, followed by tylosin and oxytetracycline.

As an annual industry estimate for all phases, chlortetracycline had the highest estimated use at 533,973kg. The second and third highest estimates were tylosin and oxytetracycline with estimated annual uses of 165,803kg and 154,956kg, respectively.

Apley and co-authors added that their estimates were constructed accurately to reflect available data related to production practices, and to provide an example of a scientific approach to estimating use of compounds in production animals.

Reference

Apley M.D., E.J. Bush, R.B. Morrison, R.S. Singer and H. Snelson. 2012. Use estimates of in-feed antimicrobials in swine production in the United States. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. –not available–, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/fpd.2011.0983.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.


February 2012