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The Role of Antimicrobials in Agriculture: A Critical Scientific Assessment

Isaacson, Richard
American Society of Microbiology
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The long-term outcome of this colloquium will be development of comprehensive approaches to address the research questions and development of a national strategy to reduce and contain the emergence of antimicrobial resistance organisms, particularly those associated with contaminated food. Following the colloquium, a report will be developed in both print and electronic format so that will be analytical and comprehensive, yet offer practical recommendations for the future.
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The intensive and extensive use of antimicrobial agents to treat infectious diseases has resulted in the emergence of highly drug resistant bacterial pathogens. It is recognized that the vast majority of antimicrobial resistance is associated with the human use of antimicrobials; however, foodborne antimicrobial resistant bacteria do contribute to the overall problem in a manner that as yet has not been quantified. There are little data indicating the extent to which antimicrobial agents used in agriculture contribute to the emergence of antimicrobial resistant pathogens, particularly those that cause infections in humans. Yet, decisions are being made that will restrict the use of antimicrobial agents in agriculture. A critical evaluation of the role that agriculture actually plays in this crisis has not been performed, nor have alternative intervention strategies been described. The organizers have convened a colloquium entitled "The Role of Antimicrobials in Agriculture: A Critical Scientific Assessment." The colloquium assessed the current situation, developed a specific set of research questions that need to be addressed and determined what tools and sampling strategies need to be developed or used in the assessment.
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Antimicrobial Resistance
Bacterial Pathogens