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Jpn J Vet Res. 2013 Feb;61 Suppl:S13-22.

Antibiotic residues in food: the African scenario.

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Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Environmental Veterinary Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, N18, W9, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0818, Japan.


Antibiotics are substances either produced naturally by living organisms or synthetically in the laboratory, and they are able to kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Antibiotics are also used as feed additives for the purpose of livestock health maintenance. Antibiotic residues in feedstuffs are currently a problem of some magnitude in different parts of the world, particularly due to associated public health concerns that include hypersensitivity reactions, antibiotic resistance, toxicity, teratogenicity, and carcinogenicity. In Africa, as in other parts of the world, antibiotic residues in animal-derived foods have been extensively recorded in many African countries; these residues have exceeded the WHO maximum residue levels in many cases. It has been reported that tetracyclines are the most predominantly prescribed antibiotics in Africa, and of all antibiotic-associated residues they represent 41% of cases, followed by beta-lactams at 18%. Great care should be taken to monitor antibiotic cessation periods before the release of animal-derived foods for human consumption. In addition, strict legislation should be implemented in order to minimize the abuse of antibiotics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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