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posted on 28.01.2021, 04:24 by Doan Hoang Phu, Nguyen Van Cuong, Dinh Bao Truong, Bach Tuan Kiet, Vo Be Hien, Ho Thi Viet Thu, Lam Kim Yen, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Pawin Padungtod, Erry Setyawan, Guy Thwaites, Jonathan Rushton, Juan Carrique-Mas

Indiscriminate antimicrobial use (AMU) in animal production is a driver of antimicrobial resistance globally. There is a need to define sustainable interventions to reduce AMU in small-scale production systems, which currently represent the most widespread farming systems in South East Asia and many low- and middle-income countries. We conducted a before-and-after intervention study on a random sample of small-scale chicken farms in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam from 2016 to 2019. The study included a baseline followed by an intervention phase where farmers were provided with regular veterinary advice on flock health and husbandry, as well as antimicrobial replacement products. Of 102 recruited farms (raising >100 chickens per flock cycle), thirty-five (34.2%) entered the intervention phase, whilst the rest stopped raising chickens, mainly due to suboptimal flock performance. Through the implementation of our intervention, chicken flocks reduced levels of AMU by 66% [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 0.34; p = 0.002) from a baseline of 343.4 Animal Daily Doses per 1,000 chicken-days and decreased weekly mortality by 40% (adjusted HR = 0.60; p = 0.005) from a baseline mortality of 1.60 per 100 birds. Chicken bodyweight increased by 100 g (p = 0.002) in intervention flocks. Our findings demonstrate that the provision of veterinary advice can achieve substantial reductions in AMU in small-scale production systems without compromising flock health and productivity.

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