Assessment of Biosecurity, Antibiotics Usage and Awareness of Antimicrobial Resistance in Layer Poultry Farmers in Anambra State Nigeria

  • Zoonotic
  • Animal health
  • biosecurity & Biosafety
  • Environmental Health (Including Water & Sanitation)
  • One Health
  • Anti-microbial resistance
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As consumption of animal protein increases in low- and middle-income countries, accurate monitoring of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and biosecurity practices has become very important. Good breeding practices such as adequate feeding, housing, and stocking to avoid overcrowding, correct disposal of waste, cleaning and disinfection of poultry premises help to prevent infection and its spread. We therefore assessed biosecurity practices, antibiotics usage and awareness of antimicrobial resistance among layer poultry farmers in Anambra State, Nigeria.

We conducted a cross-sectional study among 94 randomly selected layer poultry farms from March to June 2021 in Anambra State. We collected data on demographic characteristics, biosecurity practices, antibiotics usage and awareness of antimicrobial resistance using a structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. We computed frequencies, proportions, and prevalence odds ratios.

The mean age of farmers was 40±10 years, 69 (73.4 %) were males, 68 (72%) had a farming experience of ≥2 years while 73 (78%) were educated. Of the 94 farms visited, 90 (95.7%) had foot-dip/handwashing facilities, 87 (92.6%) restricted visitors, 92 (98%) and
88 (93.7%) regularly and properly disposed of their litter and dead birds respectively and 80 (85.1%) isolated sick birds. All 94 poultry farms used one or more antibiotics. Antibiotics were commonly administered for both therapy and prophylaxis (83%). Tetracycline (53%) and aminoglycosides (24.5%) were the most frequent classes of antibiotics used. Forty-three farmers (46%) were not aware of antibiotic residue in table eggs, 65 (69%) were not aware of the public health effects of antibiotic residue, 34% prescribed their antibiotics by themselves while 99% did not observe the withdrawal period. Farming experience improved biosecurity practice (OR 7.6; 95% CI: 2.2-25.7).

Farmers’ use of biosecurity measures was high but the awareness of the public health implications of antimicrobial drug residues was low. We recommended the regulation of the use of antimicrobials in layer poultry farms.

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