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Published Articles from USDA ARS National Program 108: Food Safety
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Title: Treatment, promotion, commotion: Antibiotic alternatives in food-producing animals
Authors: Allen HK, Levine UY, Looft T, Bandrick M, Casey TA
Journal: Trends Microbiol
Accepted date: 2012 Nov 1
Interpretive summary: Antibiotics for animal production are the most cost-effective product for treating disease, preventing disease, and promoting growth. However, the use of antibiotics in animals for growth-promoting purposes is currently being restricted in the U.S., and further restrictions on antibiotics of human medical importance are expected in the future. Cheap and effective alternatives to antibiotics in animal agriculture are therefore urgently needed. Here we provide a unique synthesis of the problem and a brief overview of the main antibiotic alternatives, including feed additives, phage therapy, and vaccines. It is unknown how antibiotics promote growth and there are likely many mechanisms involved, so combinations of alternatives show the most promise. More research needs to be applied using high-throughput technologies to more precisely define what is happening in growth promotion and to discover what alternatives will be the most efficacious.
Publication date: 2013 Mar
Volume: 21
Issue: 3
Pages: 114-9