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White Paper Highlights Complexities of Antibiotic Resistance Issues

13 January 2014

US - The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) has published a White Paper on its recent symposium on antimicrobial use and resistance.

NIAA highlights two main points in the White Paper:

  • Point A: The science behind the emergence, amplification, persistence and transfer of antibiotic resistance is highly complex and open to interpretation — and sometimes misinterpretation — from a wide variety of perspectives and misuse. If you think you understand antimicrobial resistance, it has not been explained properly to you.
  • Point B: The extremely complex relationship between animal health, human health and environmental health is driven by two premises:
    • 1) Antimicrobial resistance is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is present with or without the use of antimicrobials, and
    • 2) Anytime an antibiotic enters the ecosystem, it has the potential to contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.

These two points were among the many shared during the 'Bridging the Gap between Animal Health and Human Health' symposium sponsored by NIAA and held on 12 to 14 November 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.

These points and additional information synthesised from the symposium comprise a 27-page 'Bridging the Gap between Animal Health and Human Health' symposium White Paper recently released by NIAA.

Dr Nevil Speer, PhD of Western Kentucky University and co-chair of the symposium stated: “This White Paper highlights information delivered during the symposium by 20 different speakers — including antibiotic use and resistance experts representing animal health, human health and public health as well as a consumer advocate organisation, grocery retailers, staff members and selected media representing agriculture and consumer advocates.

“Open and candid presentations and discussions emphasised that those in human health and in animal health are committed to continuous improvement and are working to find common ground so a collective path forward can be formulated. Having a tug-of-war of human versus agricultural use of antibiotics doesn’t advance a solution. This paper underscores the importance of taking a 360-degree view and addressing antibiotic resistance from an all-inclusive, science-based perspective.”

Many of the symposium’s PowerPoint presentations, including the audio, are also available from the NIAA web site [click here].

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