A report by the EMA raises concerns over the regular use of antibiotics in animals which treat life-threatening illnesses (the Guardian, 2016).
"The use of powerful antibiotics to treat life-threatening infections has risen to record levels on European farms, new data shows. The report by the European Medicines Agency supports concerns regarding the overuse of antibiotics in animals, and follows an investigation by the Guardian newspaper which found the superbug MRSA present in meat produced in the UK, meat imported for sale in UK supermarkets, and on British farms."
There are hundreds of articles and investigations on this topic, and they all have one message in common:
The golden age of antibiotic use in farming is over.
This message raises a number of important questions:
For over 40 years, antibiotics have been the solution to treat infections in animals. What has changed?
Antibiotics accumulate in animals and are passed to humans through the food chain. They also accumulate in the environment. If bacteria are exposed to even minute doses of an antibiotic, a mechanism is triggered that causes various species of bacteria to pass on resistance features. In short, we are breeding super-resistant bacteria.
How do we continue to produce affordable food and reduce the risks posed by antibiotic resistance?
By thinking outside the box! Antibiotics are not our only options for treating infections.
Discovering antibiotics was a hugely important breakthrough and one which has saved millions of lives around the world, and which will continue to do so for many years to come. However, it is now 70 years since they were first developed and science has moved on. Recent progress in anti-microbial research could offer the opportunity to develop new products.
Several licensees of LYSANDO AG have already began to register Artilysin®s for use in animal feed.
Their applications vary from poultry and cattle to aquaculture. By 2020, we would expect to see the first products on the market.
Not only do Artilysin®s selectively eliminate the target pathogens and preserve the supportive bacteria, but they are also highly stable against bacterial resistance, and do not accumulate in either animals or the environment.