Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 897–902 | Cite as

Assessment of antimicrobial drug administration and antimicrobial residues in food animals in Enugu State, Nigeria

  • Emmanuel Okechukwu Njoga
  • Joseph I. Onunkwo
  • Chinwe E. Okoli
  • Wilfred I. Ugwuoke
  • John A. Nwanta
  • Kennedy F. Chah
Regular Articles


Imprudent administration of antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals can facilitate the development and spread of antimicrobial-resistant organisms and also enhance the occurrence of antimicrobial residue in animal products. This study was undertaken to assess antimicrobial drug administration to food animals in livestock farms in Enugu State and determine livestock farmers’ awareness on the consequences of imprudent antimicrobial administration to food animals and finally the prevalence of antimicrobial drug residues in edible tissues of cattle and pigs in the state. Structured questionnaire was used to extract information on antimicrobial drug administration and consequences of irresponsible use of antimicrobials in food animals from 109 livestock farms/farmers randomly selected using multi-stage sampling technique. Premi® test technology (R-Biopharm, Germany) was used to screen for antimicrobial residues in edible tissues from 300 carcasses consisting of 165 cattle and 135 pigs slaughtered for human consumption in two major slaughterhouses in Enugu State. Tetracyclines (90.8%), penicillins and beta-lactams (89.9%), and aminoglycoside (57.8%) were the classes of antimicrobials most frequently administered to food animals in the farms surveyed. Withdrawal period was not observed in 65% of the farms. About 30% of cattle and 23% of pig carcasses screened contained detectable amounts of antimicrobial residues. There is widespread indiscriminate administration of antimicrobial drugs in food animals in Enugu State. This underscores the need for public enlightenment on prudent use of antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals in order to preserve the therapeutic efficacy for sustainable livestock production and to safeguard human health.


Antimicrobial drug Antimicrobial residue Antimicrobial resistance Food animals Pigs Cattle 



The authors sincerely appreciate Biopharm Inc. Germany and their business associate DSM food specialist, the Netherlands, for subsidizing the price of Premi® test kits used in this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Statement of animal rights

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guideline for care and use of animals were followed.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emmanuel Okechukwu Njoga
    • 1
  • Joseph I. Onunkwo
    • 1
  • Chinwe E. Okoli
    • 2
  • Wilfred I. Ugwuoke
    • 3
  • John A. Nwanta
    • 1
  • Kennedy F. Chah
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of AbujaAbujaNigeria
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  4. 4.Department of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria

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