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Antimicrobials usage assessments in commercial poultry and local birds in North-central Nigeria: Associated pathways and factors for resistance emergence and spread

Alhaji, N.B., Haruna, A.E., Muhammad, B., Lawan, M.K., Isola, T.O.
Preventive veterinary medicine 2018 v.154 pp. 139-147
World Health Organization, anti-infective agents, antibiotic resistance, biosecurity, birds, cross-sectional studies, farmers, farms, feces, females, flocks, food safety, food security, growth promotion, humans, laws and regulations, models, monitoring, pathogens, poultry, poultry products, public health, questionnaires, risk, surveys, vaccination, veterinarians, Nigeria
The World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) recommended monitoring of antimicrobial use (AMU) through surveillance and research to help mitigate AMR. This survey was aimed at assessing poultry owners’ knowledge/awareness and practices regarding AMU, identified pathways for AMR emergence and spread in small-scale commercial poultry farms and free-range local bird flocks in North-central Nigeria. An interview questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted on commercial poultry farmers and local bird flock keepers in 2017. Also, a Traffic Light system model was used assess risk status of AMU in farms and flocks. All the 384 recruited poultry farmers/keepers participated in the survey. Female respondents were the majority (67.2%). Low proportion of poultry farmers (46.4%, 89/192) and very low proportion of bird keepers (6.8%, 13/192) knew antimicrobials misuse to be when administered under dose. About 48% (93/192) of farmers and 93% (179/192) of keepers arbitrary determined antimicrobial dosage before administration. Respondents used antimicrobials for therapeutic, prophylactic, and growth promotion in birds. Also, participants significantly identified contaminated poultry products, infected poultry or contaminated formites, and discharged contaminated faeces into environment as pathways for transmission of antimicrobial resistant pathogens to humans. Traffic Light system model revealed 88.5% of small-scale commercial poultry farms to frequently used antimicrobials without veterinarians’ consultations thereby attaining Class 1 (Red risk) status. The model showed that 92.1% of free-range local bird flocks rarely used antimicrobials thereby attaining Class 3 (Green risk) status. Improper antimicrobial dosage in poultry (OR: 7.23; 95% CI: 2.74, 19.21), non-enforcement of AMU regulating laws in poultry (OR: 4.12; 95% CI: 2.39, 7.10), weak financial status of poultry owners (OR: 3.00; 95% CI: 2.39, 7.10), and management system (OR: 8.94; 95% CI: 5.62, 14.24) were more likely to satisfactorily influenced antimicrobials misuse in poultry farms and local bird flocks. The survey revealed low knowledge level regarding AMU in the poultry. Antimicrobials were rarely used in local bird flocks, making them likely organic and safe from AMR. It is imperative to educate farmers on judicious AMU, enforce existing veterinary legislation on antimicrobials, establish antimicrobials surveillance system, and sensitize farmers on adequate biosecurity measures and routine vaccination of farms, so as to assure food safety, food security, and public health.