Friday, 24 February 2017

Antimicrobial Use and Veterinary Care among Agro-Pastoralists in Northern Tanzania.

2017 Jan 26;12(1):e0170328. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170328. eCollection 2017.

  • 1Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, United States of America.
  • 2Department of Anthropology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, United States of America.
  • 3Department of Anthropology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, United States of America.
  • 4Department of Sociology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, United States of America.
  • 5Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Frequent and unregulated use of antimicrobials (AM) in livestock requires public health attention as a likely selection pressure for resistant bacteria. Studies among small-holders, who own a large percentage of the world's livestock, are vital for understanding how practices involving AM use might influence resistance. We present a cultural-ecological mixed-methods analysis to explore sectors of veterinary care, loosely regulated AM use, and human exposure to AMs through meat and milk consumption across three rural to peri-urban Tanzanian ethnic groups (N = 415 households). Reported use of self-administered AMs varied by ethnic group (Maasai: 74%, Arusha: 21%, Chagga: 1%) as did consultation with professional veterinarians (Maasai: 36%, Arusha: 45%, Chagga: 96%) and observation of withdrawal of meat and milk from consumption during and following AM treatment (Maasai: 7%, Arusha: 72%, Chagga: 96%). The antibiotic oxytetracycline was by far the most common AM in this sample. Within ethnic groups, herd composition differences, particularly size of small-stock and cattle herds, were most strongly associated with differences in lay AM use. Among the Arusha, proxies for urbanization, including owning transportation and reliance on "zero-grazing" herds had the strongest positive associations with veterinarian consultation, while distance to urban centers was negatively associated. For Maasai, consultation was negatively associated with use of traditional healers or veterinary drug-shops. Observation of withdrawal was most strongly associated with owning technology among Maasai while Arusha observance displayed seasonal differences. This "One-Health" analysis suggests that livelihood and cultural niche factors, through their association with practices in smallholder populations, provide insight into the selection pressures that may contribute to the evolution and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance.
[PubMed - in process]
Free PMC Article