In another jolt to an already rising uproar about misuse or overuse of antibiotics, a Princeton study said the consumption in livestock worldwide could rise by 67% by 2030, endangering their effectiveness in humans.
Several experts have already warned about the impending danger to human health with the fast eroding effect of antiobiotics and several studies have suggested links between the use of antimicrobials and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
According to the study, which included on Indian-origin scientist, the emergin BRICS nations India, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa — will face an overwhelming use of anitbiotics to the extent of 99% in livestock by 2030.
“The discovery of antibiotics was a major public health revolution of the 20th century,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan, of the Princeton Environmental Institute and one of the co-authors.
“The lives of millions of people around the world are now in danger due to the increasing global problem of antibiotic resistance, which is being driven by antibiotic consumption,” Laxminarayan, an alumnus of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, noted.
The study has found that two thirds of the projected global increase in antimicrobial consumption is due to the growing number of animals and livestock for food consumption. The remainer is due to the farming practices, especially due to huge numbers of animals to be raised in “intensive farming system” or in caged farms in limited space causing faster spread of microbial diseases in the livestock, which would pass on to humans.
Due to heavy demand for proteins, livestock is grown in huge numbers using antimicrobials routinely in modern animal production for disease prevention, the researchers said.
For the study, livestock including cattle, chickens and pigs was observed and the second and the third livestock was found to be the main contributors to antibiotic consumption.
The study is based on a limited data set of veterinary-antimicrobials sales from 32 countries was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.