THE fact that large quantities of antimicrobials are used in pig production in the UK has led to the assumption that antimicrobial resistance must be posing major problems. This, in turn, raises a number of pertinent questions. For example, do veterinary practitioners feel that resistance is compromising the successful treatment of their patients? Are antimicrobials overused in pigs or are they not used prudently? Finally, does antimicrobial use in pigs have an adverse effect on humans, either directly from the transmission of resistant zoonotic pathogens or indirectly through the transmission of antimicrobial resistance via commensal organisms? This article reviews recent data on antimicrobial usage and resistance problems in pigs, with a view to shedding light on these questions and related issues.
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