- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an order prohibiting the manufacture, sale and distribution of colistin and its formulations for food producing animals, poultry and aqua farms.
- Colistin is a polypeptide antibiotic from the group of polymyxins. It is predominantly used in veterinary medicine in the treatment of intestinal diseases as well as other infections. The drug has been highly misused in India’s poultry industry.
- In humans, it is used as a last line therapy to treat infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Colistin is a “reserve” antibiotic.
- The prohibition comes as an effort to curb the growing menace of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). One of the major cause of AMR is the rampant use of antibiotics in livestock animals and poultry.
- A 2017 global study on antibiotic use in farm animals projected the consumption of antibiotics through animal sources to nearly double during 2013-2030.
- The study had ranked India the fourth largest consumer of antibiotics in food animals globally after China, the United States and Brazil.
- Anti-microbial resistance is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, fungi, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals and antimalarial) from working against it.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises AMR as a serious threat to global public health.
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