Evidence of the Connection Factory Farming and Anti-microbial Resistance.

Antibiotic Resistance caused By Factory Farming as a Public Health Issue

Would Approaching Antibiotic Resistance Caused by Factory Farming as a Public Health Issue Decrease the Rates of Infectious Diseases for Americans?

From a future nurse perspective

Kadeane Alder MooYoung18/02/2021

West Coast University.

Evidence of the Connection: Factory Farming and Anti-microbial Resistance.

Following the increase in demand for food and animal protein all over the world, intensive farming is conducted or what is otherwise known as factory farming and there is definite record of unpleasant antibiotic residues in the food products obtained from the animals and subsequently it has led to anti-microbial resistance. Antibiotic Resistance is a great public health concern due to the anti-biotic resistant bacteria associated with the animals cause disease in human being. The transmission of this antibiotic resistant diseases has been seen as conditions that can easily be transmitted from one person to the other and also from the animals through the food chains and also widely spread in the environment due to the waste generated by the factory farmed animals. The difficult to treat conditions, coupled with so many complications have brought about infections in human beings. The conditions are associated with higher healthcare costs and in worst case scenarios it leads to death. The increased consumption of the factory farmed animals will lead to an increase in anti-microbial resistance.

An article published the PubMed Central, investigated the consequences of antibiotic use in Agriculture and its consequential resistance in environmental sources as well as the potential public health implication of factory farming. The article has profound and solid information on antibiotic and antibiotic resistance in animals, the antibiotic residues in the animal-derived products and how factory farming and its products in particular end up in the environment causing pollution and how it also leads to anti-microbial resistance. CITATION Chr18 l 1033 (Christy Manyi-Loh, 2018). The article will be important in addressing the topic, as it is rich in information on the consequences of antibiotic use in agriculture. From the article, information on the correlation between antimicrobial resistance and factory farming will be drawn and understood and utilized appropriately. Studies elaborate that anti-microbial resistance has been witnessed in and made difficult the treatment of pneumococcal diseases, tuberculosis and the Food-borne Disease. The stated medical conditions will be discussed in the subsequent paragraphs.

Medical Condition One: Pneumococcal diseases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define Pneumococcal diseases as infections caused by the bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae or otherwise known as pneumococcus. The infections range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and blood stream infections. In 2018, there were about 31400 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease. (Centers of Disease Prevention and Control, 2018). The available data also indicate that the pneumococcal bacteria are often resistant to several types of antibiotics in more that 30% of the cases making the treatment and control of the infections caused by the bacteria difficult. CITATION Kim16 l 1033 (Kim L, 2016).An article published by BMC Infectious Diseases Journal indicate that, there is a definite increase in pneumococcal resistance to the commonly used drugs as well as reported cases of multi drug resistance.CITATION Ind16 l 1033 (Indre Staceviciene, 2016). The antibiotic residues in factory farmed animals and the antibiotic resistant bacteria as well as the resistance genes have been termed and considered environmental pollutants and stated to be entirely responsible for the health crisis going on in the country. CITATION Chr18 l 1033 (Christy Manyi-Loh, 2018). The resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae occurs due to the increase in the antibiotic use and consumption in factory farming. Antibiotics are excessively used in factory farmed animals and they find their way into the human body through the consumption of the factory farmed animals which is dangerous to the human health.

Medical Condition two: Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacillus called mycobacterium tuberculosis. In most cases the mycobacterium bovis, which is transmitted through contaminated milk. The rates of Antimicrobial resistance AMR in animals and human beings are skyrocketing and it has obtained the recognition as a significant threat to food security and even the global public health. In factory6 farming antimicrobials has been applied in agriculture to prevent, control and treat infections and to improve growth and the efficiency of the feed. CITATION Fre14 l 1033 (Frederick J Angulo, 2014). The article further indicates that bacteria are very adaptive organisms that have survived multiple environmental stresses during their existence on the planet. The possible transport routes between animals and human beings are extensive. The most definite mode of transmission is often seen in the food chain and individuals consuming the meat infected with the drug resistant microbes or working in close interaction with animals harboring the bacteria will be infected. CITATION Van15 l 1033 (Gousia, 2015). The global figures and the current situation concerning multi-drug resistant TB is alarming. The drug resistant TB (DR TB) is spread through the same avenues as the drug-susceptible TB is spread and the infection is often airborne and hence the witnessed disease burden. Research further indicates that antibiotic resistance is the superior price of factory farming. TB is a serious health effect and condition and the difficulty in treatment brought about by resistance to antibiotics has contributed to the higher morbidity and the mortality rates.

Medical Condition Three: Food-Borne Disease.

The world health organization defines food borne diseases as the diseases caused by consuming food loaded with or contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites some heavy metals and the chemical substances often used in the processing of food and the production of meat. The food borne diseases have also been seen to be many, with examples and ranges from the diarrhea to some cancers. The bigger burden being on the gastro intestinal tract infections. Factory farming, the massive volumes of antibiotics in the animals being produced have led to the development of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. The bacteria carried by the factory farmed animals that often cause disease in people include: the Salmonella, Campylobacter and the Escherichia coli. The bacteria are often transmitted from the animals to people in the food chain. The connection between the food-borne disease causing microbes and antimicrobial resistance, is witnessed because the factory farmed animals always harbor antibiotic resistant bacteria and once the meat is consumed by human-beings the also get infected with the antibiotic resistant bacteria. Statistics indicate that antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to human health and efforts need to be geared towards ensuring preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics in human beings.

Economic Burden: High health care expenditure

The economic impact of anti-microbial resistance has certainly be felt all over the world. The study conducted by researchers and published on the Annual review of public health illustrate that the use of antibiotics in factory farming or in the agriculture of animals has contributed to a greater extent to the antimicrobial resistance. CITATION Gab20 l 1033 (Gabriel K. Innes, 2020). The research study further indicates that when evaluating the economic impact of Anti-microbial Resistance, health economic evaluators have adopted complementary perspective. A great emphasis and research have been placed on the health care/ payer perspective, a mechanism and perspective that captures and records the increasing costs and expenditure in healthcare and where the increased expenditure is associated with the treatment of AMR. The article further indicates that the society is reporting tremendous serious economic losses, and all are associated with anti-microbial resistance brought about by factory farming. The economic impact of anti-microbial resistance is characterized to the direct health care-related costs and some of the indirect societal costs. The estimates indicating economic cost of antimicrobial resistance is displayed by the addition of US$1,383 incremental cost to the treatment of bacterial infection. The increase translates to increase in the annual national health care health expenditure in the country which is estimated at US$ 2.2billion due to antimicrobial resistance. CITATION Gab20 l 1033 (Gabriel K. Innes, 2020). The article is essential as it assist in the understanding of health and the serious economic impacts of antimicrobial resistance. It also helps to draw the attention to the topic and to understand that antimicrobial resistance is serious public health concern, and it will keep growing if efforts and national and global policies and actions are not devised and implemented to fight the threat.

Economic Burden: Increased Cost on drugs due to treatment failure.

A study published on the ScienceDirect journal highlights that antimicrobial abuse has become a serious problem and that it poses a major threat to animals and human health. In the peer-reviewed journal there is an indication that their antibiotic growth promoters should be done away with. CITATION Fei20 l 1033 (Feiyang Ma, 2020). The document is important as it address and tackles the important topics to be handled in the study. There is a great segment on antimicrobial resistance in animals and its transmission to human beings. It gives history of the first cases of antimicrobial resistance which was first recorded in 1951 after streptomycin was fed to turkeys. CITATION MPS51 l 1033 (M.P. Starr., 1951). The article also gives a detailed list of the antibiotics, where resistance have been greatly observed in and how the transmission of the multi-drug resistant pathogens has been detected in raw meat in animals as well as in patients that are infected. Multi-drug resistant pathogens have emerged all over the world and have caused an estimate of 2million infections and 23,000 deaths in the US. Antimicrobial resistance has also led to serious failures in treatment and hence another clear indication that ant-microbial resistance is a significant threat to the global public health. CITATION Fei20 l 1033 (Feiyang Ma, 2020)In conclusion, the above highlighted documents and articles will play a significant role in ensuring my paper builds up to becoming a well-done research paper. Previously done articles are a well-spring of information and the insights from the scholarly articles and journals is profound. Antimicrobial resistance and its subsequent connection in farm animals should be looked at with a lot of curiosity and hence it is necessary to get the necessary information from the right channels.


BIBLIOGRAPHY l 1033 Christy Manyi-Loh, S. M. (2018). Antibiotic Use in Agriculture and Its Consequential Resistance in Environmental Sources: Potential Public Health Implications. PubMed, 795.

Feiyang Ma, S. X. (2020). Use of antimicrobials in food animals and impact of transmission of antimicrobial resistance on humans. ScienceDirect, 450-545.

Frederick J Angulo, N. L. (2014). Antimicrobial use in agriculture: Controlling the transfer of antimicrobial resistance to humans. Pediatric Infectioius Disease Journal, 78-85.

Gabriel K. Innes, P. R. (2020). External Societal Costs of Antimicrobial Resistance in Humans Attributable Antimicrobial Use in Livestock. PubMed Journal, 141-157.

Gousia, V. E. (2015). Agriculture and food animals as a source of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Infection and Drug Resistance Journal, 49-61.

Indre Staceviciene, S. P. (2016). Antibiotic Resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolated from nasopharynx of preschool children with acute respiratory tract infection in Lithuania. BMC Infectious Diseases, 181-188.

Kim L, M. L. (2016). Biological and epidemiological features of antibiotic-resistance Streptococcus pneumoniae in pre-and post-conjugate vaccine eras: A United States Perspective. Clinical and Microbiological Review, 525-552.

M.P. Starr., D. R. (1951). Streptomycin resistance of coliform bacteria from turkeys fed streptomycin. American Journal of Public Health, 1375-1378.

Prevention, C. f. (2018). Active Bacterial Core Surveillance Report Emerging Infections Program Network,Streptococcus pneumoniae.