Quantification and evaluation of antimicrobial drug use in group treatments for fattening pigs in Belgium

Prev Vet Med. 2006 Jun 16;74(4):251-63. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2005.10.003. Epub 2006 May 3.


To control the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, knowledge of antimicrobial drug consumption is essential. Because consumption data are not available in Belgium, a study was conducted between March and October 2003 to investigate the antimicrobial drug consumption in pigs, using the treatment incidence based on the animal daily dose pig (ADDpig), the treatment incidence based on the used daily dose pig (UDDpig) (number of ADDpig or UDDpig/1,000 pigs at risk/day), and the ratio UDDpig/ADDpig. The sampling frame consisted of 821 pig herds that (a) used a closed or semi-closed production system, (b) were located in the most dense pig areas of Belgium, and (c) had at least 150 sows and 600 fattening pigs each. Of 50 randomly selected herds, all group treatments with antimicrobial drugs, applied to fattening pigs that were within 2 weeks of slaughter (median age 187 days), were collected retrospectively. The treatment incidence based on ADDpig for all oral and injectable antimicrobial drugs was 178.1 per 1,000 pigs at risk per day. The treatment incidence based on UDDpig shows that in reality fewer pigs were treated, namely 170.3 per 1,000 pigs at risk per day. Proportionally, the most often applied oral antimicrobial drugs were: doxycycline, amoxicillin, combination trimethoprim-sulphonamides and polymyxin E. The most often applied injectable antimicrobial drugs were long-acting amoxicillin and ceftiofur. The distribution of the UDDpig/ADDpig ratio per antimicrobial drug shows that 50-75% of the oral formulations were underdosed. Injectable formulations were almost always overdosed (>90%).

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Belgium
  • Drug Residues* / chemistry
  • Injections / veterinary
  • Meat* / standards
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents