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Johns Hopkins University
Background and objective: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global crisis that threatens the livelihood and health of humans, animals, and the environment. One contributor to the growing AMR concern is the animal agriculture industry, where a large portion of antimicrobials are used. This research used qualitative and quantitative methods to explore perceptions among animal agriculture stakeholders regarding antimicrobial use policies and AMR in the farm to fork pathway. Methods: This research used a mixture of quantative and qualitative methods to explore research objectives. First, semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted to capture a variety of animal agriculture stakeholder professions and industry types. Results were compared to Reframing Resistance (RR), a Wellcome Trust report that proposed five principles for AMR communications. Additionally, Retail meat was modeled for both production- and shipping-related risk factors that were associated with multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria contamination using a combination of logistic regression and log binomial regression. Results: Animal agriculture stakeholders recognize that the AMR crisis negatively impacts everyone. However, stakeholders had varied fundamental definitions of AMR, some of which differed from RR’s principle. This may unintentionally create disconnects between organizations professing RR and stakeholders on the ground. How stakeholders raise their animals and how retail meat was handled after slaughter also had consequential impact on MDR bacterial contamination on retail meat end-products. Organic-raised protocols, location processed, and distance shipped all significantly altered MDR bacteria contamination risks on retail meat. Conclusions: In combination, this research recommends wide-spread adoption of relevant AMU policies that have been shown to ameliorate the AMR crisis in humans, animal and environment, specifically ones that include animal agriculture sector practices. Such policies and regulations must consider the insight and perspectives from the industry to increase adoption among all stakeholders.
Antimicrobial Resistance, Animal Agriculture, Epidemiology, Risk Factor Analysis, Qualitative Research