Banning colistin in feed additives: a small step in the right direction
Although colistin is not approved as a feed additive in Europe, Canada, or the USA, it is a widely used feed additive in LMICs. Recent findings from Lebanon showed increases in the prevalence of AmpC β-lactamases and extended-spectrum β-lactamases within mcr-1-positive bacteria isolated from poultry on a single farm that did not adopt a colistin ban, from less than 1% in 2015 to 90% in 2017. The current era of globalisation means that country borders are no longer barriers to transmission, with an ever-increasing risk of intercontinental dissemination of infectious pathogens, as exemplified by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, a concerted effort should be made by all countries to set a timeline for implementing a ban on the use of crucial antibiotics, such as colistin, as growth promoters in agriculture.
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