The subtherapeutic use of antimicrobial drugs has played an important role in animal husbandry by the control of disease, the improvement of growth and efficiency of feed conversion. Livestock producers, industry, veterinary, and regulatory personnel share responsibility to ensure freedom from drug metabolites, residues, and other chemicals to which livestock and poultry may be exposed. The predominant concerns are for the potential adverse effects on human health. Data demonstrate that the feeding of subtherapeutic antimicrobials to livestock and poultry increases the prevalence of R+ enteric organisms. Some of these organisms may be pathogenic for humans.

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Author notes

1Present address: U.S.D.A., 14th Street and Independence Ave., S.W., S. Agriculture, Room 4864, Washington. DC.