Antimicrobial resistance seen in human medicine is primarily the result of antibiotic use in people, rather than animals, a major Government report has stated.
The Government's Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013-2018 calls for action in both human and animal medicine, however, under the banner of 'One Health'.
The joint Department of Health-Defra report says resistance to all antimicrobials is increasing, with the greatest concern surrounding the 'rapid development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics'.
The reports warns it will become 'increasingly difficult' to control infection in humans and to 'maintain animal health and protect animal welfare' if the number of 'hard-to-treat infections continues to grow'.
It stresses that the 'increasing scientific evidence' points to usage of human medicine as main cause of resistance in human medicine.
But it adds: "Nevertheless, use of antibiotics in animals (which includes fish, birds, bees and reptiles) is an important factor contributing to the wider pool of resistance which may have long term consequences."
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