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How to use antimicrobials effectively and responsibly in plant production, for the sake of human and plant health










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    Eight ways to effectively and responsibly use antimicrobials in plant production 2023
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    The effective and responsible use of antimicrobials in plant production maximizes their therapeutic efficacy, reducing development of antimicrobial resistance improving human and animal health, environmental health and food safety. Here we list eight ways to achieve antimicrobial stewardship in plant production.
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    Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Plant Agriculture: A One Health Perspective 2022
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    Bactericides, fungicides, and other pesticides play an important role in the management of plant diseases. However, their use can result in residues on plants and in the environment, with potentially detrimental consequences. The use of streptomycin, oxytetracycline, copper-based products, and some fungicides is correlated with increased resistance among plant pathogens to these agents. Likewise, the recent rise in the incidence of environmental triazole fungicide-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus, the cause of aspergillosis in humans, has caused concern, particularly in Europe. Through horizontal gene transfer, genes can be exchanged among a variety of bacteria in the plant production environment, including phytopathogens, soil bacteria, and zoonotic bacteria that are occasionally present in that environment and in the food chain. Through mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer, co-resistance, cross-resistance, and gene up-regulation, resistance to one compound may confer resistance and multi-drug resistance to other similar, or even very dissimilar, compounds. Given the global rise in antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) organisms, and their effects on plant, animal, and human health, the prudent use of pesticides is required to maintain their effectiveness for food security and sustainable production, and to minimize the emergence and transmission of AMR organisms from horticultural sources.
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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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