About this Research Topic
The use of antibiotics is well documented in that absorption following administration is often poor, and significant proportions, in the order of 70-90%, may be excreted unmetabolized. Incomplete removal of excreted antibiotics in wastewater treatment plants, and contributions from animal waste, result in contamination of water, sediment, and soils. Antibiotics commonly used in veterinary medicine are a significant problem currently as drug residues may persist in foods derived from animals, which may pose adverse health effects for the consumer. Since the European Union and several other countries have introduced a total ban on the use of synthetic growth promoters in animal feed, research in the application of natural alternatives to antibiotics, hormones, or B agonist has increased; these include the use of probiotics, plant extracts and enzymes as viable alternatives whose residues do not adversely affect the environment and human health.
Since pharmaceutical antibiotics (VAs) are not significantly accumulated, a high proportion of VAs are excreted via urine and feces as the non-metabolized parent compounds, or accumulate in tissues posing a real threat to the consumer either through exposure to the residues, transfer of antibiotic resistance or increased allergies due to its presence in foods.
As previously mentioned, exogenous enzymes, probiotics or plant extracts supplemented in animal diets provide an alternative which replace the use of antibiotics and synthetic growth promoters and that improves the productive performance of the livestock production, at a lower production cost. The use of these alternatives in animals’ diets creates profitability for the food industry with positive effects on the environment, economic sustainability, and human health.
This Research Topic welcomes, but is not limited to, the following themes:
• Antimicrobial Growth Promoters used in Animal Feed
• Susceptibility and resistance of gastrointestinal tract (ruminal and gut) bacteria to antimicrobial feed additives
• Antibiotics released into the environment from both human and agricultural sources (i.e. medical waste, discharge from wastewater treatment facilities, leakage from septic systems and agricultural waste-storage structures).
• Use of sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics and their presence in animal products
• Antibiotic and growth promoter regulation: minimizing environmental and health effects
• Feed alternatives as growth promoters for animal feed (i.e. enzymes, probiotics, secondary compounds, plant extracts)
Keywords: Growth Promoters, Livestock, Production, Antibiotics
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