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Mapping the scientific knowledge of antimicrobial resistance in food-producing animals

, João Carvalho, Joana Fernandes, Josman D. Palmeira, Mónica V. Cunha, Carlos Fonseca
Published: 9 September 2021

Abstract: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can be highlighted as one of the most significant health concerns among the last decades, for which antimicrobial drug use in food-producing animals has contributed as one of the major drivers. Food-producing animals are one of the most important and rapidly expanding commercial agricultural sectors worldwide but there is currently limited knowledge on the temporal and geographical distribution of scientific research on antimicrobial resistance in food-producing animals. We provide a global overview of the spatial and temporal trends of scientific knowledge on AMR in food-producing animals. Peer-reviewed papers of AMR on food-producing animals were retrieved from the Web of Science, systemized and dissected. The final validated dataset contained 1341 occurrences observations covering the 1957–2018 period. There has been a shift of research efforts, both geographically and temporally, emphasizing regional differences in food animal production and changing practices in the food production industry. It becomes evident that many regions have been poorly surveyed, wherein intensified sampling and testing efforts should be most valuable. This systematization of knowledge will be crucial in helping to determine how to optimally allocate limited resources available for AMR monitor and control, aiding in the prediction where the threat of new resistant infections will be greatest. AMR research in food-producing animals in developing countries is markedly growing, reflecting changes in food animals production systems but also posing a particularly significant threat, not only due to intensive animal production, but also exacerbated by poor sanitation. We highlight that the use of antibiotics in food producing animals is pervasive, calling for urgent action. These findings raise the possibility to finetuning key priorities on AMR global issues.
Keywords: AMR / Food -producing animals / Global trends / Health / Mapping

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