CDC Antibiotic Threat Report: Progress Made, More Needed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its updated Antibiotic Resistance Threat Report, an update of the original report released in 2013.

Antibiotic resistance is a One Health issue:  It affects people, animals and the environment, and professionals in each of these disciplines must join in common effort to address the threat.  The animal health industry continues its commitment to support responsible antibiotic use, and has acted with key initiatives:

  • Animal health and agriculture stakeholders collaborated with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement a new FDA Judicious Use policy at the beginning of 2017. Under this policy, all uses of medically important antibiotics to promote growth in food animals was discontinued, and all uses of these products in feed and water are now under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
  • We are continuing our work with FDA to implement the five-year plan for ensuring stewardship in veterinary settings. A key action already underway is extending veterinary oversight to the few remaining medically important products not already covered.  When this process is complete, all medically important antibiotics use in food animals will be targeted at disease and administered at the direction of a licensed veterinarian.
  • The animal health sector released the Roadmap to Reducing the Need for Antibiotics, outlining global actions the industry will take and calling for cooperation with the public sector and international organizations. The discovery and delivery of new vaccines, for example, is a key commitment made by the animal health industry.  CDC Director Robert Redfield said vaccines are the most powerful tool we have for preventing infections, and that is true in both human health and animal health.

The animal health sector remains committed to working with our One Health partners in addressing antibiotic resistance.  The new CDC report is an important document in highlighting those germs that need the most attention and we look forward to working with a broad group of stakeholders to practice good antibiotic stewardship ensuring animals are healthy.