Agricultural use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance

Satoshi Koike, Roderick Mackie, Rustam Aminov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Antibiotics are widely used in food animal production systems for treatment of infectious disease as well as for metaphylactic and growth promoting purposes. This selective pressure results in the selection of bacteria that are able to acquire resistance to antibiotics, either by mutation(s) or via horizontal gene transfer. There are several estimates comparing the quantity of antibiotics used for human and animal consumption, and these quantities are predicted to grow rapidly in coming years. Estimates show that a substantial proportion of antibiotics used in agriculture are allocated to the subtherapeutic use. This type of use creates almost ideal conditions for selection and dissemination of antibiotic resistance. In this chapter, we review our previous work on molecular ecology of antibiotic resistance in agricultural settings. In particular, how the agricultural use of antibiotics contribute to selection and dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes into a wider environment, and how different agricultural practices may affect this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAntibiotic Resistance Genes in Natural Environments and Long-Term Effects
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9781536112917
ISBN (Print)9781536118186
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Animal production
  • Antibiotic resistance genes
  • Antibiotic use
  • Dissemination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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