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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2014 Jun;19:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2014.05.014. Epub 2014 Jun 17.

Human health impacts of antibiotic use in agriculture: A push for improved causal inference.

Author information

1
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, 1971 Commonwealth Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, USA; Instituto de Medicina Preventiva Veterinaria, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile. Electronic address: rsinger@umn.edu.
2
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, 1971 Commonwealth Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, USA; Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Health Sciences Building F-262, Box 357236, Seattle, WA 98195-7236, USA.

Abstract

Resistant bacterial infections in humans continue to pose a significant challenge globally. Antibiotic use in agriculture contributes to this problem, but failing to appreciate the relative importance of diverse potential causes represents a significant barrier to effective intervention. Standard epidemiologic methods alone are often insufficient to accurately describe the relationships between agricultural antibiotic use and resistance. The integration of diverse methodologies from multiple disciplines will be essential, including causal network modeling and population dynamics approaches. Because intuition can be a poor guide in directing investigative efforts of these non-linear and interconnected systems, integration of modeling efforts with empirical epidemiology and microbiology in an iterative process may result in more valuable information than either in isolation.

PMID:
24945599
DOI:
10.1016/j.mib.2014.05.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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