Antimicrobial Use Climbs In 2018

Domestic sales and distribution of medically important antimicrobials approved for use in food-producing animals increased 9% in 2018, said a US Food And Drug Administration, Center for Veterinary Medicine, report on the subject.

However, the FDA warned in the report that the data do not show how the drugs were used.  And, with the exception of medicated feeds and certain drugs that specifically are excluded from extralabel use, veterinarians can use approved animal drugs for species and therapeutic indications for which they were not approved.

Also, because most antimicrobials used in animal feed are approved for multiple indications, simply knowing that the route of administration for a drug is by oral means cannot by itself be used to determine the indication for which the drug was used, the FDA said.




Each year, every sponsor of an approved or conditionally approved new animal drug application containing an antimicrobial must report to the FDA the amount of each such ingredient sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals.  The FDA summarizes this information and makes it available to the public in annual summary reports, as required by law, to assist the FDA in its continuing analysis of the interactions (including antimicrobial resistance), efficacy and safety of the antimicrobials approved for use in humans and food-producing animals.

The 2018 summary report also included multiple years of domestic sales and distribution data of actively marketed antimicrobials by class, medical importance and route of administration, as well as observations on the changes in the sales and distribution of these drugs through 2018.




Key observations from the report include:

  • Domestic sales and distribution of medically important antimicrobials approved for use in food-producing animals.

– increased by 9% from 2017 through 2018.

– decreased by 38% from 2015 (the year of peak sales) through 2018.

– decreased by 21% from 2009 (the first year of reported sales) through 2018.

– Tetracyclines, which represent the largest volume of domestic sales (3,974,179 kg in 2018), increased by 12% from 2017 through 2018.

  • Of the 2018 domestic sales and distribution of medically important antimicrobials approved for use in food-producing animals:

– Tetracyclines accounted for 66%, penicillins for 12%, macrolides for 8%, sulfas for 5%, aminoglycosides for 5%, lincosamides for 2%, cephalosporins for 1% and fluoroquinolones for less than 1%.

– An estimated 42% was intended for use in cattle, an estimated 39% intended for use in swine, an estimated 11% intended for use in turkeys, an estimated 4% intended for use in chickens and an estimated 4% intended for use in other species/unknown.

– An estimated 81% of cephalosporins, 67% of sulfas, 47% of aminoglycocides and 44% of tetracyclines were intended for use in cattle.  An estimated 83% of lincosamides and 41% of macrolides were intended for use in swine.  An estimated 63% of penicillins were intended for use in turkeys.




Cash cattle trading was reported Thursday at $118 to $119 per cwt on a live basis, steady to down $0.50 from last week, and at $188 on a dressed basis, steady to down $2.

The USDA choice cutout Thursday was down $3.00 per cwt at $215.65, while select was off $1.16 at $202.56.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $13.09 from $14.93 with 156 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

No new delivery notices were tendered Thursday.  Six steer contracts were retendered for delivery against the Dec live cattle contract at one.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $143.31 per cwt, up $0.31 from the previous day.  This compares with Thursday’s Jan contract settlement of $142.55, down $1.22.