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Joint FAO/WHO/OIE Expert Meeting on Critically Important Antimicrobials

Report of the FAO/WHO/OIE Expert Meeting FAO Headquarters, Rome 26-30 November 2007










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    Improving biosecurity through prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines in aquatic food production 2012
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    The current trend towards increasing intensification and diversification of global aquaculture has lead to its dramatic growth, thus making aquaculture an important food-producing sector that provides an essential source of aquatic protein for a growing human population. For both developed and developing countries, the sector is recognized as creator of jobs and an important source of foreign export earnings. The expansion of commercial aquaculture, as is the case in commercial livestock and pou ltry production, has necessitated the routine use of veterinary medicines to prevent and treat disease outbreaks due to pathogens, assure healthy stocks and maximize production. The expanded and occasionally irresponsible global movements of live aquatic animals have been accompanied by the transboundary spread of a wide variety of pathogens that have sometimes caused serious damage to aquatic food productivity and resulted in serious pathogens becoming endemic in culture systems and the natura l aquatic environment. The use of appropriate antimicrobial treatments is one of the most effective management responses to emergencies associated with infectious disease epizootics. However, their inappropriate use can lead to problems related to increased frequency of bacterial resistance and the potential transfer of resistance genes in bacteria from the aquatic environment to other bacteria. Injudicious use of antimicrobials has also resulted in the occurrence of their residues in aquacultur e products, and as a consequence, bans by importing countries and associated economic impacts, including market loss have occurred. Since disease emergencies can happen even in well-managed aquaculture operations, careful planning on the use antimicrobials is essential in order to maximize their efficacy and minimize the selection pressure for increased frequencies of resistant variants. The prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines is an essential component of successful commercial aq uaculture production systems. The FAO/AAHRI Expert Workshop on Improving Biosecurity through Prudent and Responsible Use of Veterinary Medicines in Aquatic Food Production was convened in Bangkok, Thailand from 15 to 18 December 2009, in order to understand the current status of the use of antimicrobials in aquaculture and to discuss the concerns and impacts of their irresponsible use on human health, the aquatic environment and trade. Such discussions became the basis for drafting recommenda tions targeted to the state and private sectors and for developing guiding principles on the responsible use of antimicrobials in aquaculture that will be part of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries Technical Guidelines on Prudent and Responsible Use of Veterinary Medicines in Aquaculture. Since aquaculture is expected to continue to increase its contribution to the world¿s production of aquatic food, offer opportunities to alleviate poverty, increase employment and community de velopment and reduce overexploitation of natural aquatic resources, appropriate guidance to aquaculture stakeholders on the responsible use of veterinary medicines has become essential. Safe and effective veterinary medicines need to be available for efficient aquaculture production, and their use should be in line with established principles on prudent use to safeguard public and animal health. The use of such medicines should be part of national and on-farm biosecurity plans and in accordance with an overall national policy for sustainable aquaculture. This publication is presented in two parts: Part 1 contains 15 technical background papers presented during the expert workshop, contributed by 28 specialists and which served as a basis for the expert workshop deliberations; Part 2 contains the highlights of the expert workshop.
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    Report of the FAO Expert Working Group Meeting “Scoping Exercise to Increase the Understanding of Risks of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Aquaculture, Palermo, Italy, 26–29 November 2018
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    2020
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    This report presents the results of an FAO Expert Working Group Meeting “Scoping exercise to increase the understanding of risks of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in aquaculture”. The meeting was attended by 14 experts from nine countries, representing intergovernmental organizations, academia, research institutions and the private sector. A risk profiling exercise was conducted on two bacterial pathogen groups (Streptococcus spp. and Vibrio parahaemolyticus) selected based on their importance to fish health and public health. Both bacterial agents affect tilapia, the second largest species group produced in aquaculture globally, which contributes significantly to global food and nutrition security. The risk profiling exercise for the two bacterial pathogens revealed that in both cases, the AMR risks posed by these pathogens were likely to be low and thus conducting a full risk assessment was not recommended. The risk profiling outlined in Codex Alimentarius was used as guidance, but it was recommended to review and adapt it as appropriate for aquatic AMR risk assessment. The Expert Group agreed to develop a project proposal to contribute to a multisectoral project "Towards reducing aquaculture-based AMR through a cross-sectoral approach". The project concept note will include investigation on two bacterial agents important to both animal and human health, namely: Streptococcus spp. and mesophilic aeromonads.
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    Animal nutrition strategies and options to reduce the use of antimicrobials in animal production 2021
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    Antimicrobial resistance is a global and increasing threat. Stewardship campaigns have been established, and policies implemented, to safeguard the appropriate use of antimicrobials in humans, animals, and plants. Restrictions on their use in animal production are on the agenda worldwide. Producers are investing in measures, involving biosecurity, genetics, health care, farm management, animal welfare, and nutrition, to prevent diseases and minimize the use of antimicrobials. Functional animal nutrition to promote animal health is one of the tools available to decrease the need for antimicrobials in animal production. Nutrition affects the critical functions required for host defence and disease resistance. Animal nutrition strategies should therefore aim to support these host defence systems and reduce the risk of the presence in feed and water of potentially harmful substances, such as mycotoxins, anti-nutritional factors and pathogenic bacteria and other microbes. General dietary measures to promote gastrointestinal tract health include the selective use of a combination of feed additives and feed ingredients to stabilize the intestinal microbiota and support mucosal barrier function. This knowledge, used to establish best practices in animal nutrition, could allow the adoption of strategies to reduce the need for antimicrobials and contain antimicrobial resistance.

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