USDA APHIS and partners launch study of antimicrobial use and resistance in swine

USDA APHIS and partners launch study of antimicrobial use and resistance in swine

December 1, 2021

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is partnering with several animal health and industry organizations to study antimicrobial use and resistance on commercial swine farms in the Midwest - a collaboration that could serve as a model for future studies to monitor antimicrobial use and resistance.

The farms taking part in the study are clients of Pipestone Veterinary Services. As a service to their clients, Pipestone began collecting data on antimicrobial use several years ago. The company recently started sampling for antimicrobial resistance in selected pig and food safety-related pathogens. The Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at South Dakota State University performs analysis and contributes expertise in bacterial isolation and antimicrobial susceptibility testing for the project.

Working with their clients’ approval, Pipestone will share their collected anonymized data with APHIS’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) for more analysis and interpretation in the context of factors related to management and disease pressure. APHIS aims to provide the initial results from its analysis sometime in 2022.

The collaborative effort is the first of its kind, with funding from public, private and industry sources. Funding is being provided in part through the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research’s International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture and the National Pork Board, in addition to APHIS and Pipestone.

This project will supplement the work VS is already doing on antimicrobial use and resistance, an important One Health topic. One Health – the interconnectedness of animal, human and environmental health – is of growing importance and awareness. APHIS continues to coordinate with partners at international, national, and state levels to address this and other One Health topics.

APHIS initiated NAHMS in 1983 to collect, analyze, and disseminate data on animal health, management, and productivity across the U.S. NAHMS conducts studies that provide essential information on livestock and poultry health and management to decision makers, including producers, researchers, and policymakers. Data generated from NAHMS studies are used to provide up-to-date and trend information needed to monitor animal health, support trade decisions, assess research and product development needs, answer questions for consumers, and set policy. With the voluntary support of producers in a diversity of sectors, NAHMS has been collecting data about antimicrobial use, stewardship, and resistance for many years.

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