The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a final rule on July 3, that will prohibit the extra-label use of cephalosporin antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, including cattle, swine, chickens and turkeys. Specifically, this order has important implications for the extra-label, veterinary-directed use of ceftiofur formulations in swine and bovine operations.

FDA's stance is that the rule will help further protect consumers against antimicrobial-resistant strains of zoonotic foodborne bacterial pathogens. By law, FDA may issue a prohibition order if evidence shows that extra-label use of a drug in food-producing animals has caused, or is likely to cause, a public health risk. FDA officials say they have gathered evidence showing that the extra-label use of cephalosporins in food-producing animals is likely to contribute to the emergence of resistance and compromise human therapies.  

Given the cephalosporin class of drugs importance in treating disease in humans, FDA says that preserving the drugs' effectiveness is critical. Therefore, FDA believes it's necessary to take action to limit the extent to which extra-label use of cephalosporins in food-producing animals may be contributing to the emergence of resistant variants. "The prohibition of extra-label use of cephalosporin antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals will protect the public health by preserving the effectiveness of cephalosporin-class drugs for the treatment of human infections," according to FDA.

Public comments on the rule will be accepted until Sept. 2. The rule will go into effect on Oct. 1. For more, click here.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration