Colistin is a Cyclic polypeptide antibiotic from Bacillus colistin. It is composed of Polymyxins E1 and E2 (or Colistins A, B, and C) which act as detergents on cell membranes. Colistin is less toxic than Polymyxin B but otherwise similar; methanesulfonate is used orally.
- The range of effects includes Campylobacter, Clostridium, Corynebacterium, E. coli, Erysipelothrix, Haemophilus, Pasteurella, Salmonella, penicillinase negative Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus, spp.
- Colistimethate sodium is an inactive prodrug that converts to colistin (the active component) in the body
- Colistin is also known as polymyxin E
- Works as a cationic detergent, damaging bacterial cytoplasmic membrane and causing leakage of intracellular contents
- Available as injectable and injectable is at times given via inhalation
- Only used for Gram-negative bacteria, like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii
- A last-line antibiotic and is typically only used when few to no other options exist
- Highly associated with nephrotoxicity
- Associated with neurotoxicity
Effects of bacterial infections on poultry production
Over the years, the use of antibiotics combined with strict biosecurity and hygiene measures has helped the poultry industry to grow by preventing the negative impacts of many avian diseases.
- However, with all the attention today on antibiotics and the serious issue of antibiotic resistance, it’s important to understand how and why antibiotics are used on the farm. Let’s explore some of these reasons:
- In general, antibiotics are used in phytosanitary treatments, fish farming, animal feed, and human or veterinary medicine where they can be used as a preventive or curative treatment.
- Strictly following the usage guidelines, the poultry industry uses antibiotics to improve meat production through increased feed conversion, growth rate promotion, and disease prevention.
- While antibiotic resistance is a complex issue, the reasons antibiotics are a necessary and vital part of modern agriculture are simple, straightforward, and guided by the belief that antibiotics must always be used responsibly.
- Antibiotics help make food safe by keeping chickens healthy and reducing bacteria entering the food supply.
- Like humans, chickens sometimes get sick from bacterial infections which can be accompanied by pain and suffering. This shows the need for responsible use of antibiotics to alleviate their suffering.
- Proper use of antibiotics helps keep chickens healthy and minimizes the impact on the environment.