- Newman, Melissa
- University of Kentucky
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- The investigators objective is to evaluate the effect of natural phenolic compounds on the growth rate and antibiotic resistance of plasmid containing bacteria in the laboratory, and test the abilities of these feed additives to reduce the colonization and prevalence of plasmid containing antimicrobial resistant bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of young pigs.
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Antibiotics have been used as feed additives for over 50 years. The economic benefits to the animal producer include improved growth and feed conversion, reduced mortality,and greater resistance to disease. However, despite the success of this practice,the inclusion of antibiotics in animal feeds is banned in many countries.
The use of antibiotics for the promotion of growth requires the long-term subtherapeutic addition ofthe antibiotic in the feed. Unfortunately, it has been demonstrated that these practices may increase the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the animal and ultimately in the food supply. An active approach to the reduction of multiple resistant bacteria in livestock may be required to overcome the potential health risks associated with the consumption of animal products.
One of the most common ways bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance is by taking up resistance genes (plasmids) from other bacterial cells in the vicinity. Bacteria have been found to spontaneously lose these plasmids in the presence of certain chemical compounds. This phenomenon is known as curing the bacteria.
The use of specific naturally occurring chemical compounds may provide strategies for controlling or decreasing the prevalence of antimicrobial resistant bacteriain domestic animals at slaughter.
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- Antimicrobial Resistance
- Food Defense and Integrity