Jump to Main Content
Treatment, promotion, commotion: antibiotic alternatives in food-producing animals
- Allen, Heather K, Levine, Uri Y., Looft, Torey, Bandrick, Meggan, Casey, Thomas A.
- Trends in microbiology 2013 v.21 no.3 pp. 114
- animal performance, antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, disease prevention, drug therapy, feed additives, feed conversion, food animals, growth promotion, medicated feeds, prebiotics, probiotics, vaccination, vaccines
- Alternatives to antibiotics are urgently needed in animal agriculture. The form these alternatives should take presents a complex problem due to the various uses of antibiotics in agriculture, including disease treatment, disease prevention, and growth promotion, ant the relative contribution of these uses to the antibiotic resistance problem. Numerous antibiotic alternatives, such as feed amended with pre- and probiotics, have been proposed but show variable success. This is because a fundamental understanding of how antibiotics improve feed efficiency is lacking, and because an individual alternative is unlikely to embody all of the performance-enhancing functions of antibiotics. High-throughput technology need to be applied to better understand the problem, and informed combinations of alternatives, including vaccines need to be considered.