Antibiotics in organic dairy herds

Last changed: 09 March 2018

Antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance in organic dairy herds

Antimicrobial resistance is a global public health concern and one of the major societal challenges for the future. The use of antibiotics in the livestock industry contributes to the development of resistance. Our main hypothesis is that the use of antibiotics is lower in organic dairy herds than in conventional and that this is associated with a lower incidence of antimicrobial resistance. We also hypothesize that the attitude to antibiotic use differs between organic and conventional farmers, but also within the group of organic farmers, and that this concords with the use of antimicrobials as well as the incidence of resistance.

The project will a) quantify the use of antibiotics on farm level; b) identify patterns of antimicrobial resistance of indicator pathogens (Escherichia coli) in the gut flora of calves; c) study the attitude of farmers towards the use of antibiotics.

The study will be an observational field study employing relevant epidemiological, microbiological and quantitative methods for collecting and analyzing the data.