WHO Issues Guidelines Against Antibiotic Overuse In Farms And Food Industry 07/11/2017 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Against the growing threat of a world where bacteria can kill again because they have developed resistance to available antibiotics, and the lack of new promising options in the research pipeline, several international agencies are seeking solutions. The World Health Organization today published a set of recommendations to help stop the routine use of antibiotics to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals. Animal husbandry According to a WHO press release, in some countries, as much as 80 percent of total consumption of medically important antibiotics is found in the animal sector, in particular for growth promotion in healthy animals. The UN health agency issued a set of recommendations to remedy this problem and “strongly recommends an overall reduction in the use of all classes of medically important antibiotics in food producing animals, including complete restriction of these antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention without diagnosis.” According to a guidelines summary, many antimicrobials used in food-producing animals are identical, or closely related, to antimicrobials used in humans, and the overuse of antibiotics in animal can contribute to the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The guidelines include recommendations and best practice statements on the use of medically important antimicrobials based on the WHO List of Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine. These antibiotics “are often the last line, or one of limited treatments, available to treat serious bacterial infections in humans,” the WHO said. The guidelines apply universally, it says, “regardless of region, income and setting, however, the GDG [Guideline Development Group] acknowledged that implementation of these guidelines in low and middle-income countries may require special considerations.” Many countries may need technical and laboratory capacity building assistance, the document says, adding that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organisation for Animal Health may be able to assist in implementing the guidelines. A number of countries have already taken action to reduce the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, said the release, citing the European Union, which since 2006 has banned the use of antibiotics for growth promotion. According to the release, a systematic review published in The Lancet Planetary Health published today “found that interventions that restrict antibiotic use in food producing animals reduced antibiotic-resistant bacteria in these animals by up to 39 %.” The guidelines contribute directly to the aims of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2015 and the Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance, adopted in 2016, the release said. Meanwhile, an informal consultation of member states and relevant partners on the global development and stewardship framework to combat AMR will meet on 9-10 November at WHO. The draft meeting agenda is available here. Image Credits: Flickr – Graeme Churchard Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."WHO Issues Guidelines Against Antibiotic Overuse In Farms And Food Industry" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.