Antibiotics

A core function of Animal Medicines Australia Member Companies is to advocate, educate and promote the safe use of antibiotics.

bacteria group

 

What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are a type of anti-infective substance used in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infection; they are produced by or derived from living organisms and are classified based on their mechanism of action, chemical structure, or spectrum of activity.  They target certain bacterial functions to either kill or inhibit the growth or reproduction of bacteria.

What are bacteria?

Bacteria were among the first life forms to appear on earth; they can exist in and on every platform imaginable from soil and water to acidic hot springs and radioactive waste, and yes, bacteria live in humans and animals in a generally symbiotic relationship.  The majority of bacteria are useful, they help us to create food products such as cheese and yoghurt, they help both humans and animals digest food and are even used to breakdown our sewage and clean up oil spills.  However a small handful of bacteria are capable of causing disease; these bacteria are referred to as pathogenic.

In regard to animal health, antibiotics are required when these bacteria, or pathogens, affect the performance, productivity and day-to-day health of the animal.  Antibiotics are an important tool to prevent, control and treat disease in animals and are therefore an important tool for farmers, veterinarians and pet owners to have available.