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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


WOLFF R., Marcelo. Use and misuse of antibiotics: Time to evaluate it beyond humans. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.8, pp.909-911. ISSN 0034-9887.

Antibiotics, once called the «wonder drugs» might be loosing their magic through development and dissemination of bacterial resistance. We are very responsible for that by way of inappropriate and excessive use of them. Although we have not created the problem we have promoted, accelerated and amplified it. So we used to think. Now we can share the blame: massive use in animal feed, seems to be contributing a great deal to the same effect, and they are not even used to treat infections, but to promote growth and weight gain. Dubious purpose, since same effects can be achieved with better and more hygienic feeding practices. Equal or larger amounts of antibiotics are thought to be used for this purpose than for human health. Resistance in animal flora and transmission to humans has been inevitable. In this issue, F Cabello reports this practice in Chilean aquaculture: greater amounts than in other countries and a wider range of antimicrobials are used here, some sharing chemical and spectrum properties with those for human use, some slowly biodegradable. This situation may have a great impact in bacterial resistance locally, along with other untoward consequences of exposing unnecessarily salmons, humans and the environment to bioactive products. The time to openly discuss the practice, probably quite unknown to the general public, and perhaps to some authorities, has come (Rev Méd Chile 2004, 132: 909-10)

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