Trends in slaughter pig production and antimicrobial consumption in Danish slaughter pig herds, 2002-2008.

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2011

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Overuse of antimicrobials in food-animal production is thought to be a major risk factor for the development of resistant bacterial populations. Data on non-human antimicrobial usage is essential for planning of intervention strategies to lower resistance levels at the country, region or herd levels. In this study we evaluated Danish national antimicrobial usage data for five antimicrobial classes used in slaughter pigs in different herd sizes and data on the number of slaughter pigs produced per herd, between 2002 and 2008, in Denmark. The objective was to ascertain if there is an association between herd size and amount of antimicrobials consumed. During this period, the overall number of herds with slaughter pigs decreased by 43%, with larger herds becoming more prevalent. The tetracycline treatment incidence (TI) rate increased from 0·28 to 0·70 animal-defined daily dose (ADD)/100 slaughter pig-days at risk while macrolide TI presented a more moderate increase, from 0·40 to 0·44 ADD/100 slaughter pig-days at risk during the study period. Linear regression analyses revealed a significant association between herd size and TI rates for tetracyclines, macrolides, sulfonamides/trimethoprim and cephalosporins, with small herds presenting significantly higher TI than moderate, large and the largest herds. This study highlights the importance of establishing an antimicrobial consumption monitoring programme, integrated with comprehensive food-animal production surveillance. Further research should be performed to address the potential causes of the detected associations between herd sizes and antimicrobial consumption in pigs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1601-1609
StatePublished - 2011
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 13


  • Antimicrobial drugs, Surveillance, veterinary epidemiology
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ID: 5710617