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Antibiotic Treatment of Commercial Broiler Flocks: Effect upon Campylobacter Prevalance and Resistance


Antibiotic resistance in zoonotic pathogens, including Campylobacter, isolated from man has been a world wide issue since 1997 when the World Health Organisation reported that the use of antimicrobials in animals may contribute to the antibiotic resistance of these pathogens entering the food chain. Subsequent reports by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee and the Working party of ACMSF investigating antibiotic resistance in food borne pathogens, also raised similar concerns. <P>

In this proposal we address key issues that have been raised by these reports. In addition, questions arising from DEFRA OZ0501 will be investigated. <P>There are two principal objectives of the proposed study. Firstly, to investigate whether antibiotic use per se alters the population dynamics of Campylobacter spp in commercial poultry flocks, or whether the observations in DEFRA OZ0501 are pertinent to fluoroquinolones only.<P> Secondly, to determine whether the three most commonly used antibiotics used in the treatment of poultry flocks select multiply antibiotic resistant Campylobacter, and whether such strains are resistant to disinfectants, desiccation and high temperatures. <P>The research will be relevant to DEFRA policy as the rise in the prevalence of antibiotic resistant zoonotic pathogens could compromise the public health. There is a need to advise the poultry industry and the veterinary profession on treatment regimes, particularly when antibiotics are used on a large scale, and such advice is best based upon research using flocks of birds in commercial conditions. <P>The results will be published in international peer reviewed and trade journals and to disseminate information to the poultry industry by technology transfer

University of Birmingham
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