Antibiotic use in animals and humans in Australia

Freya Langham and Allen C Cheng
Med J Aust 2019; 211 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50258
Published online: 19 August 2019

Developing strategies to reduce both the transmission of important pathogens and antimicrobial resistance is of paramount importance

Since the 1960s, there has been concern about the use of antibiotics in food animals and its contribution to antibiotic resistance in humans. The increasing intensification of modern food animal production has resulted in an increase in antimicrobial use in livestock, for both therapeutic and non‐therapeutic purposes. There are a number of mechanisms by which antimicrobial use in animals affects resistance in human pathogens, such as transmission by direct contact and, indirectly, through food consumption and environmental contamination.1 Moreover, there is emerging literature stating that limiting antimicrobial use in animals leads to reduced resistance in humans.2

  • 1 Alfred Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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