Global trends in antimicrobial resistance in animals in low- and middle-income countries

Science. 2019 Sep 20;365(6459):eaaw1944. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw1944.


The global scale-up in demand for animal protein is the most notable dietary trend of our time. Antimicrobial consumption in animals is threefold that of humans and has enabled large-scale animal protein production. The consequences for the development of antimicrobial resistance in animals have received comparatively less attention than in humans. We analyzed 901 point prevalence surveys of pathogens in developing countries to map resistance in animals. China and India represented the largest hotspots of resistance, with new hotspots emerging in Brazil and Kenya. From 2000 to 2018, the proportion of antimicrobials showing resistance above 50% increased from 0.15 to 0.41 in chickens and from 0.13 to 0.34 in pigs. Escalating resistance in animals is anticipated to have important consequences for animal health and, eventually, for human health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Brazil
  • Campylobacter / drug effects
  • Chickens / microbiology
  • China
  • Developing Countries
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Livestock / microbiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Salmonella / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Sus scrofa / microbiology
  • Veterinary Drugs / pharmacology


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Veterinary Drugs