The National Institute for Animal Agriculture Thursday released a "Bridging the Gap between Animal Health and Human Health" symposium white paper, highlighting the complexities between antibiotic resistance and animal and human health.
The symposium was held Nov. 12–14, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo.
"This White Paper highlights information delivered during the symposium by 20 different speakers–including antibiotic use and resistance experts representing animal health, human health and public health," commented Dr. Nevil Speer, PhD, co-chair of the symposium.
Participants also included a consumer advocate organization, grocery retailers, staff members and selected media representing agriculture and consumer advocates.
The presentations largely addressed two key themes: antibiotic resistance and the complex relationship between animal health, human health and environmental health.
According to NIAA, two points from the conference should be highlighted:
Point A: The science behind the emergence, amplification, persistence and transfer of antibiotic resistance is highly complex and open to interpretation – and sometimes misinterpretation – from a wide variety of perspectives and misuse.
Point B: The extremely complex relationship between animal health, human health and environmental health is driven by two premises: 1) Antimicrobial resistance is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is present with or without the use of antimicrobials; and 2) Any time an antibiotic enters the ecosystem, it has the potential to contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.
"Open and candid presentations and discussions emphasized that those in human health and in animal health are committed to continuous improvement and are working to find common ground so a collective path forward can be formulated," Speer added.
"Having a tug–of–war of human versus agricultural use of antibiotics doesn't advance a solution. This paper underscores the importance of taking a 360–degree view and addressing antibiotic resistance from an all–inclusive, science–based perspective."
The Antimicrobial Use and Resistance White Paper is available online at www.animalagriculture.org.