How the use of antibiotic drugs in animals can prove to be harmful to humans?
Citing the potential threat to children’s health, and the whole public at large, the IMA has taken a stand against the use of nontherapeutic antibiotic drugs in animals
Medical experts from across the globe have stressed on how the excessive usage of antibiotics in humans and animals has led to an array of consequences. The spread of resistant bacteria is the most paramount of them all. According to a recent report by the American Academy of Paediatrics, the use of antibiotics in livestock as growth stimulants, and not for treating illnesses, contributes to the threat of antimicrobial resistance and potential infection through the food supply -- especially among young children who are most vulnerable to infection.
Children under 5 Children can become infected through food, contact with animals, and environmental exposures such as when animal runoff contaminates surface waters used for drinking and recreation. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are easily transmitted from animals to humans through the food we eat, making them vulnerable to several health ailments in the future.
Speaking about the issue, Padma Shri Awardee Dr. A Marthanda Pillai – National President IMA and Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, IMA and President, HCFI said, “Children under 5 are considered to be at the highest risk of developing resistance to antibiotics and contacting food-related infections. Medical experts from all across the globe have argued that restricting the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics is essential both for animal and human health. Stricter regulations are needed to keep a check on the over-the-counter sale of antibiotics. It is essential that chemists only hand over these medicines upon a valid doctor's prescription. It is also recommended that families opt for antibiotic free or organic meat. In addition to this, it is also recommended that food must be washed and cooked properly to kill the bacterial infection.”
According to the CDC's , three leading causes of pediatric food-related illness are from exposure to:
· Non-typhoid (which can infect fetuses via maternal exposure)
More alarmingly, growing proportions of , 23% were resistant to ciprofloxacin and 2% resistant to erythromycin (which, with azithromycin, is considered the preferred antibiotic to treat children with ). and infections are drug-resistant. In 2013, almost 25% of species were resistant to at least one antibiotic -- a dramatic increase from 13% in 1997.
Of the 100,000 infections, 3% were resistant to ceftriaxone, the first-line pediatric therapy for these organisms Some strains have been found to be resistant to five or more classes of antibiotics.
It is thus essential that awareness is raised about antibiotic resistance, and the diet of children, in particular, is monitored to eliminate any future risk. Eating a healthy diet is key to a healthy life.