New and On-going Research to Fight Antibiotic Resistance in Livestock Production

What’s being done about antibiotic resistance?

If you’ve been paying attention to the growing public discourse on antibiotics in livestock production you might well ask what can be done and what is being done about growing drug resistance. After all, even while consumer concerns tend to focus on the potential for antibiotics to enter the food supply, folks working in livestock and poultry production know that the threat of antibiotic resistance is really about growing risks for difficult or impossible-to-treat microbial disease. Moreover, producers know that this is a threat to the veterinary care their animals need as much as to human health. So again, what is being done to address resistance in livestock production?
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Responsible Antibiotic Use on Dairy Farms

Are you ready for a pop quiz?

Off the top of your head, how would you answer the following questions:

    • How often do dairy cattle receive antibiotics in dairy farms in the US?
      • a) Daily
      • b) As needed and advised by a veterinarian
    • Are there more antibiotics in milk from cows raised without antibiotics or cows raised on conventional farms?
      • a) Conventional farms
      • b) Neither, all milk is tested and removed from the food supply if it contains antibiotics, no matter the source.

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Antibiotic resistance in environment has One-Health implications

A summary of The Human Health Implications of Antibiotic Resistance in Environmental Isolates from Two Nebraska Watersheds by Donner et al. 2022

Key points

  • The interconnected health of humans, animals, and the environment is well established and increasingly studied in concert within a “One-Health” framework.
  • Approximately 40% of the bacteria isolated from watersheds in this study had acquired new antibiotic resistance genes which they had picked up in the environment.
  • Both urban and agricultural watersheds contained antibiotic-resistant bacteria, demonstrating the importance of one-health-based decision-making across industries and institutions.

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Episode 13: Germs, germs everywhere

Continuing our deep dive on “Quarantine Life from Cholera to Covid-19” with chapter 5: Germs, germs everywhere. In this episode, Mara, Amber, and Noelle talk about germ theory: the good, the bad, the apocalyptic! Plus what does this historical perspective on how humans first understood bacteria tell us about how we can better address the AMR challenge, and improve our science communication strategies?

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Episode 12: Wash your hands

Continuing our deep dive on “Quarantine Life from Cholera to Covid-19” with chapter 4: Wash your hands. In this discussion, Mara, Amber, and Noelle get to talking about the “discovery” of handwashing and what the methods used to communicate that new knowledge can teach us about effective science communication.

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Swimmers beware, land application of manure can increase antibiotic resistance downstream

A summary of Catchment-scale export of antibiotic resistance genes and bacteria from an agricultural watershed in central Iowa by Neher et al. 2020

Key points

  • With some year-to-year variation, manure application increased antibiotic resistance surface water downstream of application site.
  • The CAMRADES team, led out of Iowa State University, will be expanding efforts to monitor and model AMR in agricultural watersheds in the region.

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Episode 11: Let’s stick together

Continuing our deep dive on “Quarantine Life from Cholera to Covid-19” with chapter 3: Let’s stick together. In this discussion, Mara and Amber are joined by recent guest Noelle Atieno Mware to explore what the cholera epidemics in London in the mid-1800s tell us about how important community is for addressing contagious disease, and how community relationships can in turn drive contagion. Plus, how do we use these lessons to meet the AMR challenge?

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Episode 9: Listen to Women

This week on Tales of the Resistance we begin a multi-week deep dive on the book “Quarantine Life from Cholera to Covid-19” written by iAMResponsible member Kari Nixon.  During this series, our hosts will discuss the lessons of the book, about how people react and act in a world of infectious disease, and try to apply those lessons to AMR, and how we can improve our communication and educational efforts around AMR and infectious diseases in the future.
In this week’s episode, Amber and Mara are discussing chapter 1: #ListenToWomen. This chapter begins with a discussion of early vaccination efforts in 18th century England and what that means for who we look to for medical and scientific advice and attitudes toward public health.

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Episode 8: Carlton Poindexter

This week on Tales of the Resistance Amber and Mara are chatting with fellow AMR explorer Carlton Poindexter, a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland. It is an opportunity to nerd out about microbes and that’s never taken lightly, gird your loins because this episode is diving deeeeeep into complex microbiological ecologies, and wastewater treatment – thrilling stuff.

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