Journal of Antimicrobial Agents

ISSN: 2472-1212

Open Access

Antibiotic Practices and Factors Influencing the Use of Antibiotics in Selected Poultry Farms in Ghana


Boamah VE, Agyare C, Odoi H and Dalsgaard A

Many of the antibiotics employed in animal production also serve as essential medicines for use in humans. However, only a handful of studies address antibiotic use in animal husbandry in Ghana. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of essential antibiotics in poultry production in Ghana and to assess factors influencing farmers’ choice of antibiotics for use on their farms. A cross-sectional survey using questionnaires and semistructured interviews was conducted among 400 poultry farms in the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and Greater Accra regions of Ghana. Data was analysed using IBM SPSS and Microsoft Excel. Multivariate analyses were used to evaluate correlations between farm variables and the dependency of antibiotic use on internal and external farm characteristics. Farmers reported the use of 35 different antimicrobial agents for management of conditions such as Newcastle, fowl pox, coccidiosis, and coryza. From these agents, 20 essential antibiotics belonging to 10 antibiotic classes were extracted. Frequently employed antibiotics were tetracyclines (24.17%), aminoglycosides (17.87%), penicillins (16.51%) and fluoroquinolones (10.55%). Only 63% of the farms completed recommended antibiotic course durations, 58% reported following recommended withdrawal periods and 88% sought veterinary advice before administration of antibiotics. Farmers had easy access to antibiotics and antibiotic-related information from veterinary offices, vet-chemical shops and mobile salesmen. Correlation analysis showed farm activities such as frequency of change of bedding material, disinfectant use and seeking expert advice correlated significantly with size and age. The use of antibiotic-containing agents was observed to be dependent on internal factors such as size, presence of other livestock on the farm and infections. External factors such as easy access to antibiotics also influenced farmers’ use of antibiotics. These findings call for stricter regulations on access to and use of antibiotics on poultry farms in Ghana.


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