A cross-sectional study of antimicrobial usage on commercial broiler and layer chicken farms in Bangladesh

Tasneem Imam, Justine S. Gibson, Mohammad Foysal, Shetu Bhusan Das, Suman Das Gupta, Guillaume Fournié, Md Ahasanul Hoque, Joerg Henning

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Commercial poultry production is growing rapidly in Bangladesh to address the increasing demand for poultry meat and eggs. Challenges faced by producers include the occurrence of poultry diseases, which are usually treated or controlled by antimicrobials. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 57 commercial layer and 83 broiler farms in eight subdistricts of the Chattogram district, Bangladesh, to assess antimicrobial usage in relation to clinical signs observed in chicken flocks on these farms. Of the 140 commercial chicken farms, 137 (97.9%) used antimicrobials and 24 different antimicrobial agents were administered. On layer farms, the most commonly used antimicrobials were ciprofloxacin (37.0% of farms, 20/54), amoxicillin (33.3%, 18/54), and tiamulin (31.5%, 17/54), while on broiler farms, colistin (56.6%, 47/83), doxycycline (50.6%, 42/83), and neomycin (38.6%, 32/83) were most commonly administered. Only 15.3% (21/137) of farmers used antimicrobials exclusively for therapeutic purposes, while 84.7% (116/137) of farmers used them prophylactically, administering them either for prophylactic purposes only (22.6% of farmers, 31/137) or in combination with therapeutic purposes (62.1% of farmers, 85/137). About 83.3% (45/54) of layer farmers were selling eggs while antimicrobials were being administered compared to 36.1% (30/83) of the broiler farmers selling broiler chickens while administering antimicrobials. Overall, 75.2% (103/137) of farmers reported clinical signs for which they administered antimicrobials, while 24.8% (34/137) of farmers reported no clinical signs but still administered antimicrobials. Respiratory signs (71.8% of farms with clinical signs, 74/103) were most commonly reported, followed by enteric signs (32.0%, 33/103) and increased mortality (16.5%, 17/103). About 37.2% (51/137) of farmers bought antimicrobials exclusively from feed and chick traders, followed by veterinary medical stores (35.0%, 48/137). Purchasing antimicrobials from feed and chick traders was more common among broiler than layer farmers. It is recommended that commercial poultry farmers should keep records of antimicrobials used with dosage and duration of administration along with indication of use. This would allow farmers and veterinarians to review if antimicrobial usage had the desired effects and to evaluate the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents under an antimicrobial stewardship approach.
Original languageEnglish
Article number576113
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2020


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