Illustrative examples of probable transfer of resistance determinants from food animals to humans: Streptothricins, glycopeptides, and colistin.
Additional Document Info
Use, overuse, and misuse of antimicrobials contributes to selection and dissemination of bacterial resistance determinants that may be transferred to humans and constitute a global public health concern. Because of the continued emergence and expansion of antimicrobial resistance, combined with the lack of novel antimicrobial agents, efforts are underway to preserve the efficacy of current available life-saving antimicrobials in humans. As a result, uses of medically important antimicrobials in food animal production have generated debate and led to calls to reduce both antimicrobial use and the need for use. This manuscript, commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help inform the development of the WHO guidelines on the use of medically important antimicrobials in food animals, includes three illustrations of antimicrobial use in food animal production that has contributed to the selection-and subsequent transfer-of resistance determinants from food animals to humans. Herein, antimicrobial use and the epidemiology of bacterial resistance are described for streptothricins, glycopeptides, and colistin. Taken together, these historical and current narratives reinforce the need for actions that will preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials.