Antimicrobial Residues and Resistance: Understanding and Managing Drug Usage on Dairy Farms

Published on: 02/10/2014
Author/s : Pamela Ruegg, DVM, MPVM, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Introduction In modern dairy cattle operations, antimicrobials are administered for both therapeutic and prophylactic purposes. Most antimicrobials are used therapeutically but some antimicrobials are used to prevent disease in healthy animals during periods of increased susceptibility. Mastitis is one of the most frequent infectious diseases in dairy cattle and accounts for most of the doses of...

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February 10, 2014
Congratulations to Dr pamela for drying attention to this acute problem our future generation has to face ..Indiscriminate use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines in livestock mostly use as food. since there is no recording system in public health therefore it is very difficult to understand its total impact on human health.I hope this paper will b taken seriously and more scientists will focus their attention towards this concern which will help in creating awareness against this future menance
Martin Squires Martin Squires
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
February 10, 2014
Would this situation be improved by the use of vaccines aimed at various mastitis causing organisms, such as the Hipra vaccine Startvac? Could enhancing the natural immune response of the cow reduce case numbers, and improve response to therapy, reducing overall antimicrobial use?
James Niaill Wright James Niaill Wright
Dairy producer
February 11, 2014

A very informative paper which most producers should read, if not to understand the methodology of the antibiotic (bacteriostatic and bactericide) and the evolution of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

We process 3500 litres of milk daily and are very cautious about atibiotic residues in our milk products,especially in the case of new generation antibiotics, where the inability of existing commercial test kits to detect certain antibiotic residues is a concern.

It is easy to say one should reduce the use of antibiotics, but in the case of lameness, enteritis, pneumonia, and mastitis, under estimating the health problem can be a dead or damaged animal, which raises questions on the economics and welfare of a treatment schedule. Obviously prevention is the preferred method, and as dairy farms develop and and incorporate modern housing, milking equipment, and adopt husbandry practises which reduce infection, this may be possible. However there still remains constraints in the form of climate, environment, individual animal susceptibility, and established management practises which may be more difficult to control. One fundamental objective is certainly prevention, followed if need be by more cautious application of antibiotics, completion of treatment schedules as recommended by supplier, and to follow an established health protocol for a treatment, instead of haphazard un recorded applications of single or multiple antibiotics.
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