Grantee Publication: Antimicrobial Use Trends in Chicken Production in Pakistan

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health challenge and antimicrobial use (AMU) in the livestock sector has been considered as one of the contributing factors towards the development of AMR in bacteria.


This study summarizes the results of a point prevalence survey conducted to monitor farm-level AMU in commercial broiler chicken farms in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) provinces of Pakistan. A cross-sectional study was conducted to quantify AMU and to check seasonal variations of AMU in 12 commercial broiler chicken farms (six from each province) during the summer and winter seasons of the year 2020–2021. AMU was recorded using three AMU metrics: kg, mg per population correction unit (mg/PCU), and mg/kg of final flock weight. A total of 22 antimicrobial drugs (348.59 kg) were used for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes in surveyed broiler chicken farms. The total combined AMU for all the broiler chicken farms was 462.57 mg/PCU. The use of most of the antimicrobials increased during winter flocks compared to summer. The top three antimicrobial drugs used during the summer were neomycin (111.39 mg/PCU), doxycycline (91.91 mg/PCU), and tilmicosin (77.22 mg/PCU), whereas doxycycline (196.81 mg/PCU), neomycin (136.74 mg/PCU), and amoxicillin (115.04 mg/PCU) during the winter. Overall, 60% of the antibiotics used in broiler chicken were critically important antimicrobial classes (CIA) for human medicine as characterized by the World Health Organization. Our findings showed high AMU in broiler chicken production and a call for urgent actions to regulate CIA use in food animals in Pakistan. This baseline survey is critical for the design and implementation of a subsequent national level AMU surveys that can include additional farming types, animals’ species, and geographical locations over a longer period of time.

Umair M, Tahir MF, Ullah RW, Ali J, Siddique N, Rasheed A, Akram M, Zaheer MU, Mohsin M. Quantification and Trends of Antimicrobial Use in Commercial Broiler Chicken Production in Pakistan. Antibiotics. 2021; 10(5):598.

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