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Annu Rev Public Health. 2008;29:151-69. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.29.020907.090904.

Industrial food animal production, antimicrobial resistance, and human health.

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1
Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. esilberg@jhsph.edu

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance is a major public health crisis, eroding the discovery of antimicrobials and their application to clinical medicine. There is a general lack of knowledge of the importance of agricultural antimicrobial use as a factor in antimicrobial resistance even among experts in medicine and public health. This review focuses on agricultural antimicrobial drug use as a major driver of antimicrobial resistance worldwide for four reasons: It is the largest use of antimicrobials worldwide; much of the use of antimicrobials in agriculture results in subtherapeutic exposures of bacteria; drugs of every important clinical class are utilized in agriculture; and human populations are exposed to antimicrobial-resistant pathogens via consumption of animal products as well as through widespread release into the environment.

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