Feather segmentation to discriminate between different enrofloxacin treatments in order to monitor off-label use in the poultry sector

Jansen, L.J.M.; Bolck, Y.J.C.; Berendsen, B.J.A.


Antibiotics are commonly used in the poultry industry
to treat bacterial infections. In the combat against bacterial
resistance, policies require, besides a reduction of antibiotic
usage in humans and animals, an up-to-date farmer
registration mentioning all treatments. For enforcement of
such policies, tests are needed to antedate administration and
to determine the type of treatment so as to prevent off-label
use and the supervacaneous use of last-resort antibiotics like
cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. After poultry treatment,
high amounts of enrofloxacin and its metabolite ciprofloxacin
are deposited in chicken feathers. A method is presented to
discriminate different treatments based on differentiating extractable
and non-extractable enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin
in chicken feathers.With this approach, we show it is possible
to distinguish between a registered therapeutic oral treatment,
an off-label spray treatment and an illegal prolonged subtherapeutic
treatment with enrofloxacin. This approach is a
new and strong tool in the enforcement of new policies in
the fight against off-label and supervacaneous antibiotic use.