Antibiotics and Antimicrobials | Policy Briefs

Should poultry vaccination be used during a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in the United States?

April 2016. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is a rapidly spreading virus that can severely impact the US poultry industry and the entire economy. Vaccination is not currently used since HPAI is not normally found in the US. What are advantages and disadvantages of implementing vaccination during a HPAI outbreak?

View or download a PDF of this issue brief


Antimicrobial Residues in Farmed Shrimp

September 2014. Americans consume more shrimp than any other seafood, much of which is produced on farms in other countries. Antimicrobial drugs are detected occasionally in farmed shrimp, especially in shrimp originating from outside the United States (U.S.). While importing shrimp intended for food containing any antimicrobial is illegal, incentives remain for antimicrobial use by shrimp farmers. Many antimicrobials that have been found in farmed shrimp have the potential to cause illness in humans.

View or download a PDF of this issue brief


Balancing The Health Impacts of Antibiotic Use in Animal Feed

August 2013. Antibiotics are important for both animal and human health and welfare, and administration of antibiotics through feed or water is often the most humane and labor-efficient method of treating groups of animals such as chickens, pigs, or fish. Administration of antibiotics to food-producing animals – like all antibiotic use, regardless of setting or route of administration – contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance. While the human health and economic implications of resistance vary widely depending on antibiotics and pathogens of concern, many federal and intergovernmental organizations conclude that feeding certain antibiotics for production purposes (i.e., growth promotion or increased feed efficiency) is a public health problem.

View or download a PDF of this issue brief