“Five antibiotics work for 80% of pig diseases”

07-10-2010 | Updated on 07-05 | |

With a limited number of 4 or 5 different antibiotics, around 80% of pig diseases can be treated. That is according to the Dutch working group “dealing with MRSA in agriculture.”

The network has been set up by the Dutch Agricultural Advisory Board. Since March this year, 5 pig farmers together with 2 veterinarians work towards reduction of the antibiotic treatments on their farms. They made a list with antibiotics that do not pose a risk for resistance and a list with antibiotics that can create resistant bacteria.

“We now work with only 4 or 5 products instead of the 12 different antibiotics that pig farmers normally use, commented project leader Judith Mulder.

The limited amount of products is the small spectrum antibiotics and work against most of the diseases in the pig industry, said Mulder. These products are also used with much more focus, meaning that the farmers do not treat the whole herd but only individual animals. The first results are promising, said Mulder. Two out of the 5 farmers have reduced the antibiotics treatment to nearly zero. On one farm the MRSA contamination from both pigs and humans has been strongly reduced. Results of the other farms are expected soon.