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Quantification of antimicrobial use in Fijian livestock farms

X. Khan, , P. Ray, R. Lim
Published: 13 September 2021

Abstract: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major threat to humans and animals globally. Antimicrobial stewardship has been acknowledged as a primary strategy to tackle AMR. An important first step for antimicrobial stewardship is to quantify antimicrobial use (AMU). In Fiji, there are currently no data on AMU in livestock farms. This study aimed to quantify AMU in different livestock enterprises (beef, dairy, broiler, and layer) and farming systems (backyard, semi-commercial and commercial) in Central and Western divisions of Viti Levu, Fiji. A survey with 210 livestock farmers and 26 managers representing 276 enterprises was conducted between May and September 2019. The difference in AMU between different livestock enterprises and farming systems was investigated using ANOVA. In Fiji, the estimated annual antibiotic use in livestock was lower than the global average (44 compared with 118 mg/PCU). However, this use was concentrated in 56% of participant farms (the remaining 44% did not use antimicrobials). Total estimated quarterly anthelmintic use (20,797 mg) was not affected by farming systems but was highest (P< 0.001) in dairy enterprises (24,120 mg) and lowest in broiler enterprises (4 mg). Quarterly antibiotic use was different between the enterprises regardless of the metrics used to quantify the use (P< 0.05). Total estimated quarterly mg/PCU of antibiotic use was highest (P< 0.001) in broiler enterprises (12.4 mg/PCU) and lowest in beef enterprises (0.2 mg/PCU). For all other ESVAC metrics, total estimated antibiotic use was higher in poultry and lower in cattle enterprises. Backyard systems used less antibiotics (total mg) than commercial systems, but for other metrics, the trend was reversed. The use of both antibiotics and anthelmintics (rather than antibiotics or anthelmintics alone, or no AMU) was associated with dairy enterprises (Χ2 = 123, P< 0.001). Further studies should be conducted to quantify and evaluate the drivers of AMU in Fijian livestock farms. In addition, differences in AMU between different enterprises and farming systems suggest that strategies to reduce AMU should be tailored to specific settings.
Keywords: Quantification / Antimicrobial use / Farm enterprises / Farming systems / Fiji

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