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Poultry is one of the worlds fastest growing sources of meat, representing nearly one-fourth of all the meat produced. The modern production unit can produce market ready broiler chickens in less than six weeks. This development comes from genetic improvement, feeding and health management practices by using of of antibiotics as therapeutic agents to treat bacterial diseases in rural poultry farming. The recommended levels of antibiotics in feed were 5-10g kg-1 in the 1950's and have increased by ten to twenty folds since then. In many modern countries, antibiotics used in poultry is for treatment of infections. The characteristics of resistant becteria transfer from poultry products to human population may occur through consumption or handling meat contaminated with the pathogens (Van den Bogaard and Stobberingh, 2000). According to WHO the resistance to antibiotics is an ability of bacterial population to survive the effect of inhibitory concentration of antimicrobial agents (Catry et al., 2003). The resistant bacteria can damage the human intestine and the genes coding resistance to antibiotics can be transferred to other bacteria belonging to the endogenous flora of humans, thereby jeopardizing effective treatment of bacterial infections (De Leener, 2005). These resistant bacteria then increasing their numbers a million fold a day, becoming the micro-organism in the population. Such bacteria transmit their genetically defined resistance characteristics to their offspring's of the strains and to other bacterial species via mutation(Gould, 2008).
Antibiotics may reduce the maintenance cost associated with turn our of the intestinal epithelium.(visek 1978) sugests that up to 20% of nutrient requirement for maintenance are directed to epithelial resupply.because antibiotic cause the thinning of epithelium,this is up to 40% in this maintenance components.(Visek 1978) concluded that a for a 1000 gram Broiler gaining at 50% per day reduce maintenance needs for epithethial regeneration caused by feeding , Anitibiotics could account for the 4-5% improvements in growth,offen seen with in these products.
The availability of antibiotics in poultry production depends on greater understanding of their risks and benefits. The regulatory status and use of antibiotics in poultry production were addressed in research presented The use of antibiotics as preventative growth promotants is probably the most misunderstood by the general public. The use of antibiotics as preventative growth promotants is probably the most misunderstood by the general public. Many people interpret the use of antibiotics to be the same, whether it is a therapeutic treatment of disease or preventative control of subclinical disease such as necrotic enteritis.When reading the summaries that have been published by both domestic and foreign organizations on antibiotic use in food animals, the reader should be aware of whether the reports include one or a combination of the three antibiotic categories. For example, some reports may only include therapeutic and preventative growth promotants, whereas others will include therapeutics, preventative growth promotants and ionophore coccidiostats.( Fairchild and C.L. Hofacre, 2011)
The benefits of antibiotics in animal feed include increasing efficiency and growth rate, treating clinically sick animals and preventing or reducing the incidence of infectious disease. By far the major use of antibiotics among these, however, is increased efficiency, i.e. a more efficient conversion of feed to animal products, and an improved growth rate. In chicken feed, for example, tetracycline and penicillin show substantial improvement in egg production, feed efficiency and hatchability, but no significant effect on mortality. Chlorotetracycline, oxytetracyclin and penicillin also show an improved growth rate, but little effect on mortality. Antibiotics in animal feed, in general, are used regularly for increased efficiency and growth rate than to combat specific diseases.( The Rise of Antibiotic-Resistant Infections" (1995). FDA Consumer, 29).
The recognition of the dangers of antibiotic resistance prompted the ban on sub-therapeutic antibiotic usagein Europe and the potential for a ban in the United States and many developed countries, there is increasing interest in using probiotics that have potential to reduce enteric disease in poultry and subsequent contamination of poultry products (Patterson and Burkholder, 2003).
It is very difficult to grow broilers without the use of growth promoters, since clostridial organisms often proliferate and clinical necrotic enteritis develops. While some countries have a ban on sub-therapeutic growth promoters in the feed, their use is escalating as water additives. Without the use of such 'antibiotics', there will undoubtedly be greater risk of bacterial overgrowth in the bird's digestive tract and especially when 'poorly' digested ingredients are used since these provide substrates for microbial fermentation in the lower gut.(Commercial poultry Nutrition) .There is a lack of definitive information on the overall of antibiotics used in feed as growth promotor, and there are obstacles to this information since feed formulations are considered confidential business information under U.S. law. our data are consistent with studies highlighting the prevalence of resistant enterococci and staphylococci in the poultry environment (Hayes et al., 2004; Lu et al., 2003).