Govt may ban antibiotic colistin used to fatten chicken

Govt may ban antibiotic colistin used to fatten chicken


The government has proposed a ban on the use of antibiotic Colistin that is widely used in the meat and poultry industry in India to make animals grow faster.


  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, and Ministry of health and family welfare and the Drug Controller General of India recommended the ban on Colistin.
  • The indiscriminate use of Colistin in farming increases the chance that bacteria would develop resistance to the drug, making it useless when treating patients.
  • Antibiotic misuse in food-animal production is one of the key causes of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). It not only spreads resistant bacteria but is also carried into human food stream.
  • While the European Union banned Colistin in 2006, Malaysia and China joined the list this year and do not permit the use of the antibiotic, both for therapeutic and growth promotion in animals.

About Colistin

  • Colistin is a polypeptide antibiotic from the group of polymyxins. This antimicrobial is predominantly used in veterinary medicine in the treatment of intestinal diseases as well as other infections.
  • Colistin has been effective in treating infections caused by Pseudomonas, Escherichia, and Klebsiella species
  • It’s being used increasingly as a ‘last-line’ therapy to treat infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, when essentially no other options are available.
  • Antibiotics help the chickens remain free of disease or gain weight faster

What Does Colistin resistant mean

  • If an antimicrobial no longer works against certain bacteria, these bacteria have developed resistance to the active ingredient.
  • Colistin resistance exists if the minimum concentration of Colistin as the active ingredient for inhibiting the growth of a bacteria type is above the defined threshold value. Escherichia (E.) coli and Salmonella are considered resistant.

Additional Info:

  • National Programme on Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance
  • The “National Programme on the Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance” was launched under the aegis of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012 – 2017).
  • The objectives of this programme were to establish a laboratory-based AMR surveillance system of 30 network laboratories, generating quality data on AMR for pathogensof public health importance
  • NCDC is the focal point for implementation of the programme.
  • Seven priority bacterial pathogens are – Klebsiella spp., Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus species, Pseudomonas spp, Acinetobacter spp., Salmonella enterica serotypes Typhi and Paratyphi
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