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Title: Determinants influencing antibiotic use in Singapore’s small-scale aquaculture sectors: A qualitative study
Authors: Lim, J.M. 
Duong, M.C. 
Hsu, L.Y. 
Tam, C.C. 
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: Lim, J.M., Duong, M.C., Hsu, L.Y., Tam, C.C. (2020). Determinants influencing antibiotic use in Singapore’s small-scale aquaculture sectors: A qualitative study. PLoS ONE 15 (2) : e0228701. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Singapore’s Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) national strategic action plan includes inappropriate use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals as a specific priority. Although the use of antibiotics and other drugs are monitored by regulatory bodies, food fish farmers are allowed to buy and administer antimicrobials without a veterinary prescription. We conducted a qualitative study of Singaporean food fish farmers to understand patterns and determinants of antibiotic use, their knowledge of antibiotic resistance, as well as perceptions of on-farm infection prevention and control measures. During the interview, participants were asked about their farming processes, farm infrastructure, antibiotic use and any disease prevention measures. Thematic analysis of participants’ interviews showed that antibiotic for growth promotion and infection prevention was uncommon among local food fish farmers. The following three main themes influenced participants’ decisions to use antibiotics in their practice: 1) individual factors, 2) local regulatory factors as well as 3) market-related factors. Individual factors included their personal experience and knowledge both with antibiotics as well as with alternate options. In terms of local regulatory factors, we found that regular oversight was a strong deterrent in antibiotic use. Last, at the market level, the relatively high price of antibiotics in Singapore coupled with stiff competition was a strong disincentive for participants to use antibiotics in their farming practice. These factors were also influential in their relationships with local regulatory bodies as well as their counterparts. Although industries differ significantly across countries, lessons learnt from Singapore’s food fish farming demonstrate the importance of an environment where multidimensional factors come together to discourage the irrational use of antibiotics in food animal production. In addition, our results allow greater insight into food fish farmers’ perspectives on infection control and form a basis from which further research work can be undertaken. © 2020 Lim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Source Title: PLoS ONE
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0228701
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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