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Prudent Antibiotic Use in Food Animals

This WIKI contains the information to be shared with Canadian stakeholders concerned and interested by Antimicrobial (antibiotics) use in food animals in Canada. This documentation has been build by CDPQ Health and Bosecurity team with the collaboration of other partners.

Linking to the "Canadian Compendium of Veterinary Products"

This wiki is hyperlinked to the labels of pharmaceutical products as described in the Canadian compendium of pharmaceutical products. To access to the compendium, you have to register at Animalytics Subscription at Animalytics


«Compendium of Veterinary Products - Canadian Bilingual»


The 5 Best Ideas

Whoever started to read and study all the discussion around antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and its corollary antimicrobial use (AMU) in farm animals will soon realize that there is no real consensus on definitions of the terms and goals we are collectively trying to achieve. Following is a list of the five best ideas that have been retained by the main author of this wiki (Christian Klopfenstein, CDPQ).

1- Antibiotics use (ABU) or antimicrobial use (AMU) focused policies: All the discussion around prudent use of antimicrobials in food animals should focus on medically important antibiotics. Indeed, all substances listed under the global term Antimicrobial are usually restricted to medically important antibiotics. Moreover, proposed list (ex: Health Canada and WHO) don't even contain one non-antibiotic antimicrobial (disinfectants, minerals, etc.). More specifically for Canada, the scope of the discussions around antimicrobial use is essentially focused on category I, II and III antibiotic drugs.

The term "Antimicrobial" is supposed to integrate all substances that have the ability to kill or reduce the growth of microorganisms populations. By definition, these substances should include pharmaceutical drugs (antibiotics, antifungals, antiprotozoals, antivirals, antiparasiticals) and non-pharmaceutical substances (disinfectants, plant extracts, essentials oils, minérals such as copper, zinc and many other products).

2- Purpose for antibiotic use. Antibiotics are used in animal production for two major purposes:

  1. Therapeutic reasons (treatment and prevention (prophylaxis) of disease on individual, control (metaphylaxis) and prevention of disease on populations);
  2. Non-therapeutic reasons (animal production and feed efficiency).

Adapted from : 1- FDA Guidance for Industry No 219; 2- Animal industry glossary.

3- Responsible and judicious use of antibiotics. When the decision is reached to use antimicrobials for treatment, control, or prevention of disease, veterinarians should strive to optimize therapeutic efficacy and minimize resistance to antimicrobials to protect public and animal health and well-being. Source : CVMA and AVMA.

4- Antibiotic classification, what is “really” important. The antibiotics that should be used with more precautions in food animal species are essentially third and fourth generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and polymyxins (colistin). Sources : World Health Organization (WHO); Health Canada; Quebec (MAPAQ).

Public health organizations (World Health Organization, Health Canada,etc.) are proposing different classification systems to order antibiotics according to their importance to human health (Canada proposes a four levels classification system). There is no agreement between organizations on the proposed ranking system but there is a general consensus on two finalities: 1) Almost all antibiotics commonly used in animal production are considered as important in human medicine; 2) The highest concerns are for third, fourth and fifth generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and polymyxins (colistin).  

5- Mantra to summarize what we are trying to accomplish. Antiibiotics should be used as little as possible but as much as necessary. An idea proposed by the European Platform for the Responsible Use of Medicine in Animals EPRUMA.

CDPQ Website
Dr Christian Klopfenstein cklopfenstein@cdpq.ca

start.txt · Dernière modification: 2019/05/04 17:47 par christian_klopfenstein