Industrial food animal production, antimicrobial resistance, and human health

Ellen K. Silbergeld, Jay Graham, Lance B. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

332 Scopus citations


Antimicrobial resistance is a major public health crisis, eroding the discovery of antimicrobials and their application to clinical medicine. There is a general lack of knowledge of the importance of agricultural antimicrobial use as a factor in antimicrobial resistance even among experts in medicine and public health. This review focuses on agricultural antimicrobial drug use as a major driver of antimicrobial resistance worldwide for four reasons: It is the largest use of antimicrobials worldwide; much of the use of antimicrobials in agriculture results in subtherapeutic exposures of bacteria; drugs of every important clinical class are utilized in agriculture; and human populations are exposed to antimicrobial-resistant pathogens via consumption of animal products as well as through widespread release into the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-169
Number of pages19
JournalAnnual review of public health
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Agriculture
  • Bacteria
  • Drug-resistant pathogens
  • Environment
  • Horizontal gene transfer
  • Infectious disease
  • Poultry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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