Scientists Investigate Reducing Antimicrobials Cost and Use to Treat Brachyspira

CANADA - Research aimed at identifying the most effective drugs for treating Brachyspira is expected to reduce both the cost and the amount of drugs used for treatment, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 23 July 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc, scientists with the University of Saskatchewan in partnership with Novartis Animal Health are working to identify the most effective antimicrobials for treating specific strains of Brachyspira.

Dr Joe Rubin, an assistant professor in veterinary microbiology with the University of Saskatchewan, says the key challenge has been a lack of tools to provide veterinarians with evidence based treatment recommendations.

Dr Joe Rubin-University of Saskatchewan:

In Canada we do have a number of different effective products available.

Many of the drugs are from a small number of antimicrobial classes so they are structurally related to each other and so we do worry about the emergence of resistance to these drugs leading to cross resistance.

Fortunately that doesn't seem to be a big problem yet.

Unfortunately the main problem that we're facing is really just that we're lacking solid data to make a recommendation for one particular antimicrobial over another for treating clinical outbreaks of this disease.

With the antimicrobials that are currently available on the market, it's certainly possible to bring outbreaks of clinical disease under control so we're not faced with a situation where we have untreatable infections.

But the issue is that it can be very, very expensive and so the value of testing is that it will allow veterinarians to select the best and most appropriate therapy right away.

So it will limit costly antimicrobials and it will also reduce overall antimicrobial usage which will save the producers money and reduce the selection pressure for antimicrobial resistance, which is certainly a hot topic right now.

Dr Rubin says a standardized method has been developed over the last year for antimicrobial susceptibility testing and that method is now being used to test an archived collection of isolates gathered from diagnostic submissions over the past five years.

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