Antibiotic use in food-producing animals has considerable impact on public health, especially with respect to the development and spread of antibiotic resistance. Pigs represent one of the main species in which antibiotics are frequently used for different purposes. Surveillance of antibiotic consumption and dose appropriateness, through novel approaches based on defined daily doses, is strongly needed to assess farms’ antibiotic risk, in terms of spread of antibiotic resistance and possibile presence of residues in meat. In this study, antibiotic consumption was monitored in 14 swine reproduction farms, together with managerial, structural, and health aspects. Most of the controlled farms (65%) were classified as at medium antibiotic risk, 21% at high antibiotic risk, and 14% at low antibiotic risk. Critical aspects of antibiotic administration concerned treatments for suckling and weaner piglets, oral antibiotic administration, treatment and diagnosis of gastroenteric infections, and use of critically important antimicrobials for human medicine, especially colistin. These aspects could be considered critical aspects of antibiotic use in from-farrow-to-wean/finish swine farms in the Umbria region and must be controlled to minimize risks. Even though a small number of farms in Umbria region are at high antibiotic risk, the risk of antibiotic resistance should be minimized, and management and biosecurity of the farms should be improved by extending the use of antimicrobial susceptibility tests and optimizing the diagnostic methods for infectious diseases. Furthermore, farmers’ and veterinarians’ knowledge of antibiotic resistance should be improved and the prudent use of antibiotics encouraged to prevent the development and spread of resistant microorganisms.
Veterinary antimicrobial; Antibiotic use evaluation; Swine production; Antibiotic resistance; Veterinary pharmacoepidemiology