What are EFSA and EMA doing to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals?

What are EFSA and EMA doing to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals?


The spread of antimicrobial
resistance is a global burden for human health and the
food chain contributes to it. The limitation of use of
antimicrobials in animal farming is essential to maintain the efficacy
of these compounds in treating diseases. EFSA is assessing the potential
alternatives to antibiotics in animal husbandry. In the past years, a number of papers
have been published describing compounds and agents, like micro-organisms,
bacteria, complex microbial communities, plant extracts, that can act
as alternatives to antibiotics. Bacteriophages for instance are
bacterial viruses that kill specifically strains and species of bacteria. Another important category
are antimicrobial peptides, these compounds generally derived
by other bacteria or by plants can be used to control pathogenic
microorganisms in the gut of the animals. EFSA is already assessing the
scientific evidence of minerals, such as zinc, of organic acid
in controlling pathogenic bacteria in animals. Several of these potential
alternatives act at the level of the gastrointestinal tract,
modulating the gut microbiota. Gut microbiota interfere or interact
with the immune system of the animal and the purpose of these compounds
is to improve the animal health, reducing consequently
the use of antimicrobials.

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