Conclusion

Despite the best efforts to control and treat infectious disease with antimicrobials, bacteria will continue to adapt and survive. As resistance to these drugs increases, producers are left with fewer options for maintaining herd health and productivity. This article has presented some of the strategies that are being developed as alternatives to antimicrobials for controlling enteric pathogens in food animals. Chlorate supplementation, immune lymphokines, and competitive exclusion cultures show promising commercial potential, as do other areas of product development including, prebiotics, vaccine development, and bacteriophage. It is unlikely that any single product will meet all the needs of the producer, but each alternative has its effective place along the production continuum, and combinations of alternatives may have synergistic effects. Ultimately the application of these products will decrease the need for antimicrobials and will likely have a large impact on the reduction of antimicrobial resistance among enteric bacteria in food animals.

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