UC Davis, USA
Emmanuel Okello joined the UC Davis Faculty in November 2018 as Assistant Specialist in Cooperative Extension in Antimicrobial Stewardship. Okello’s research and extension is focused on promoting antimicrobial stewardship in the livestock industry. His goal is to develop antimicrobial stewardship guidelines and best management practices that reduce antimicrobial resistance while maintaining the health and welfare of the herds and flocks. His specific areas of research include the use of alternatives to antibiotics to control infectious diseases in livestock, development and evaluation of vaccines and rapid diagnostics tests, and improved management practices for disease prevention.
Development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the future availability of effective antibiotics necessary to guarantee both livestock and public health. To minimize AMR California passed the Senate Bill (SB) -27 effective January 1, 2018, that limited the use of all medically important antimicrobial drugs (MIADs) in livestock to veterinary prescription only and prohibited the use of MIADs for performance enhancement. SB-27 expanded on the elements of the amended federal Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD rule) effected January 1, 2017.In order to evaluate the impact of the regulatory changes, we are collaborating with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to study the complex pathways between on-farm drug use and antimicrobial resistance on California dairies. Amongst these pathways are perceptions and challenges related to the current legislation, compliance by both livestock producers and veterinarians, on-farm drug use practices and the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance. We have surveyed CA’s dairy industry for changes in antimicrobial drug use and stewardship practices attributable to SB-27 and the VFD. In addition, we implemented a statewide surveillance of drug use and exposure and the antimicrobial resistance profiles of bacterial from animals and environmental samples. The survey results showed most of the producers were aware of the changes in regulations that promote stewardship and judicious drug use. Antibiotics use was perceived to be extremely important in raising livestock by most of the respondents. Cost-wise, majority of the respondents reported no change in the cost of antibiotics in their operations following the regulatory changes. The AMR profiles showed wide spread resistance to commonly used antimicrobial drugs. Our study provides benchmark data for future evaluation of the impact of the regulatory changes and guide the development of practical drug use stewardship guidelines.