Superbug hotspots spread among animal farms in Asia, Africa and South America

25 September 2019

A recent study points at the outbreaks of antibiotic resistant infections at animal farms around the world, mainly in low-income and developing countries of Asia, Africa and South America. The spread of superbugs is associated with the proliferation of intensive farming practices known for use of antimicrobials for better weight gain and lower mortality rate among animals. Whereas meat production in high-income countries has fallen since 2000, the countries of Asia, Africa, and South America have evidenced the rise in demand for meat, with production growth by 68%, 64%, and 40% over the same period respectively.

Currently, 73% of all antimicrobials sold worldwide are used in livestock farming. Alongside potential risks for human health, expansion of antibiotic resistant infections among farm animals can impact the sustainability of the livestock industry as a whole. 

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