Importance and implications of antibiotic resistance development in livestock and wildlife farming in South Africa: A Review
Antibiotic resistance (ABR) is regarded as one of today’s major global health challenges. The development of ABR in nature is a complex phenomenon with many influencing factors, of which the farming industry is labelled a significant contributor. The transfer of ABR to humans, which usually occurs via the food chain, is of concern for human health. A food source that is increasing in popularity is game meat, which is farmed widely in South Africa. The natural environment, including wildlife, is not isolated from the rest of the farm, and thus could be a source of ABR or possibly a transfer vector. It is therefore important to assess the ABR situation in wildlife species and the factors that influence its emergence and transfer. Elements that play a part in the development of ABR in game species include certain harvesting and slaughtering and other farming practices and closer contact with humans and other farm animals. Additionally, natural transfer vectors include wind, water, manure, crops and animals. Worryingly, there is lack of knowledge of this situation owing to inadequate monitoring, documentation and control of antibiotics in the farming industry. The objective of this review was to gain better understanding of this situation, which would aid in the development of surveillance systems and methods to prevent or hinder the development of ABR in wildlife species.
Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance, food-borne pathogens, game meat, surveillance systems, zoonoses