Animal Husbandry Practices in Rural Bangladesh: Potential Risk Factors for Antimicrobial Drug Resistance and Emerging Diseases

Amira A. Roess Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Peter J. Winch Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Nabeel A. Ali Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Afsana Akhter Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Dilara Afroz Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Shams El Arifeen Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Gary L. Darmstadt Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Abdullah H. Baqui Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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for the Bangladesh PROJAHNMO Study Group Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Antimicrobial drug administration to household livestock may put humans and animals at risk for acquisition of antimicrobial drug–resistant pathogens. To describe animal husbandry practices, including animal healthcare-seeking and antimicrobial drug use in rural Bangladesh, we conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with key informants, including female household members (n = 79), village doctors (n = 10), and pharmaceutical representatives, veterinarians, and government officials (n = 27), and performed observations at animal health clinics (n = 3). Prevalent animal husbandry practices that may put persons at risk for acquisition of pathogens included shared housing and water for animals and humans, antimicrobial drug use for humans and animals, and crowding. Household members reported seeking human and animal healthcare from unlicensed village doctors rather than formal-sector healthcare providers and cited cost and convenience as reasons. Five times more per household was spent on animal than on human healthcare. Strengthening animal and human disease surveillance systems should be continued. Interventions are recommended to provide vulnerable populations with a means of protecting their livelihood and health.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Amira A. Roess, Department of Global Health, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, 2175 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20037. E-mail: aroess@gwu.edu

Financial support: This study was supported by the United States Agency for International Development through cooperative agreements with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, the Saving Newborn Lives program of Save the Children-US through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a National Research Service Award grant from the National Institutes of Health, and the Academy for Educational Development.

Authors' addresses: Amira A. Roess, Department of Global Health, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, Washington, DC, E-mail: aroess@gwu.edu. Peter J. Winch and Abdullah H. Baqui, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, E-mails: pwinch@jhsph.edu and abaqui@jhsph.edu. Nabeel A. Ali, Afsana Akhter, Dilara Afroz, and Shams El Arifeen, International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mails: nabeel@icddrb.org, afsana_akther@yahoo.com, dilararoney@gmail.com, and shams@icddrb.org. Gary L. Darmstadt, Family Health Division, Global Development Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA, E-mail: gdarmsta@jhsph.edu.

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