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Antibiotics: In detail

What is antibiotic resistance?

There has been a lot of attention recently on antibiotic or antimicrobial resistance. It is an important challenge that the entire world is facing. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics). As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections are very difficult to treat.

To prevent antibiotic resistance developing, the best thing to do is to use the correct dose of antibiotics for your animals (don’t underdose!) and to stick to antibiotics that are recommended by your vet. Watch the video from Milksure to find out more about how antibiotic resistance develops.

How do antibiotics work?

Antibiotics are specially made to target a certain kind of microorganism. When the medicine is injected into an animal, it kills the microorganism in the infected blood and tissue (muscles, bones, cartilage). The dead microorganism and the leftover medicine is then flushed out of the animal’s body over time. The amount of time between when the antibiotic is injected and when the flushing out happens is what is called the withdrawal period.

Watch the video from eBug to find out more about how antibiotics work. The video talks about humans, but the principles are the same for animals.

What to do next:
Take the quiz on antibiotics
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All rights reserved. These materials have been produced for the promotion of good animal husbandry and are intended for use by individuals working in agricultural, veterinary or academic practice. While every effort is made to ensure that the information given here is accurate, no legal responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions or misleading statements.