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Letter to the editors

A retrospective study on veterinary antimicrobial use in Nigeria, 2014 to 2017

A retrospective study on veterinary antimicrobial use in Nigeria, 2014 to 2017

Dooshima Kwange1, Mwapu Dika Ndahi1, Olaniran Alabi1, Bukar Ali Usman2, Peter Umanah1, Jens Kirk Andersen3, Ayi Vandi Kwaghe1,4,&


1Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, PMB 145, Area 11, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria, 2National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, Plot 1, Isolo Industrial Estate, Lagos, Nigeria, 3National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, Bygning 201, 2800 Kgs, Lyngby, Denmark, 4Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Zaria, Nigeria



&Corresponding author
Ayi Vandi Kwaghe, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Zaria, Nigeria



To the editors of the Pan African Medical Journal    Down


Global Reliable Data on Antimicrobial Use (AMU) in food animals was estimated at 63,000 tons annually in 2015 and is projected to increase by almost 70% in 2030 [1]. The global program on surveillance of antimicrobial consumption was launched in 2015 by WHO to tackle the problem of a lack of quality antimicrobial use (AMU) data and a standardized methodology for data collection [2]. Data on AMU is fundamental for countries to establish national and local antimicrobial stewardship programs [2]. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat to health and tackling AMR in animals through the aid of AMU information is a means of protecting public health.

The rise in global antimicrobial resistance [3] necessitates the need for the estimation of AMU in the country. This will aid policy decision-making regarding the use of antimicrobials and further give direction regarding the reasons behind specific antimicrobial resistance in the country. In developing nations like Nigeria, data on antimicrobials is underestimated due to the illegal import of drugs as a result of the porosity of our borders. This study aimed at determining the quantity and pattern of veterinary AM used in the country within the study period.


We conducted a retrospective study on the amount of active ingredients of antimicrobial agents intended for use in the animal sector using import data of the country from 2014 to 2017. We obtained data on antimicrobial agents for use in animals from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Obtained data include; date of importation, name of importing company, name of exporting company, product name, quantity imported. All antimicrobial agents were grouped into the various classes and their active ingredients were calculated. In 2014 and 2015, AM with more than one molecule were calculated as aggregated whereas in 2016 and 2017, AM agents having more than one active ingredient were disaggregated into their respective classes and the amount of active ingredients were calculated. Data for 2014 was for 7 months only.

Data analyses: data was collected, collated, analysed, and converted to kilograms as described by Office International des Epizooties (OIE) [4]; active ingredients present in the form of compounds or derivatives, the mass of active entity of the molecules in International Units, were converted to kg [5]. The nomenclature of antimicrobial agents complied with international standards [4].


Eleven antimicrobial classes were imported for the period under review (2014 to 2017). These include; Tetracyclines (Oxytetracyclines and Chlortetracycline), Fluoroquinolones (Enrofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin and Norfloxacin), Macrolides (Tylosin, Erythromycin and Streptomycin), Penicillin (Amoxycillin and Penicillin), Sulfonamides (Sulfaquinoxalin, Sulfadimidine, Sulfadiazine and Trimethoprim), Polypeptides (Colistin sulphate), Aminoglycosides (Gentamycin and Neomycin), Amphenicols (Florfenicol), Glycopetides (Ancomycin), Pleuromutilins (Tiamulin) and Nitrofurantoin (Nitrofurantoin).

Nineteen antimicrobial had more than one active ingredient; Amoxycol (Amoxycillin and Colistin), Amoxystin (Colistin and Amoxycillin), Dimoxican (Colistin sulphate and Amoxycillin trihydrate), Tylodox (Tylosin and Doxycycline), Doxytyl (Doxycycline and Tylosin), Doxygen, Intergendox (Doxycycline and Gentamycin), Neodox (Doxycycline and Neomycin), Keproceryl (Oxytetracycline, Colistin and Erythromycin), Nemovit, Neotreat, Neo-oxy egg formular (Oxytetracycline and Neomycin), Koleridin (Oxytetracycline and Neomycin), Trisulmix (Trimethoprime and Sulfamethioxine), Colisultrix (Trimethoprime and Colistin sulphate), EST Mix (Erythromycin, Sulfadiazine and Trimethoprime), Sulfa 3 (Sulfathiazole, Sulfadimidine and Sulfamerazine), Sulfavet (Sulphadimidine and Trimethoprime) and Ciprovet (Sulfur and Ciprofloxacin).

A total of 1,392,578 kg (1,392.6 tons) of antimicrobials were imported during the study period (Table 1). The year 2015 had the highest importation of antimicrobials (515,892 kg) then 2017 (338,878 kg) (Table 1). The highest imported class of antimicrobial was tetracycline (629,236 kg) followed by polypeptides (148,974 kg) and macrolides (132,712 kg) (Table 1).


This report is similar to the global trend of AMU which tends to be decreasing [1]. During the four years, tetracycline (45.18%) accounted for most of the imported AM with almost 300 tons in 2017 followed by polypeptides (10.70%) and macrolides (9.53%) similar to a study in south-western Nigeria where stating tracycline's (33.6%) as the leading antimicrobial used in livestock production over the period of study [6]. Several reports from Africa, UK and OIE revealed tetracycline group as the most used antibiotic [7-9].

Nitrofurantoin and pleuromutilin were only imported in 2016. The use of antimicrobial agents in animal health has a potential of affecting human health through drug residues, as a result, Nitrofuran and Amphenicols were banned for use in livestock feed in many countries, including Nigeria (NAFDAC) [10]. This also indicates that the Nigerian government is adhering to the banning of these drugs hence the absence of their importation in subsequent years.


Data on AMU in Nigeria for the study period was 1,392,578 kg (1392.6 tons). In Nigeria, AMU data is underestimated because antimicrobials produced locally, those purchased through informal markets and other sources such as veterinary clinics/hospitals and farms were not captured. This study demonstrates the need for collecting such data to improve on the current data collection system.



Competing interests    Down

The authors declare no competing interest.



Authors' contributions Up    Down

Bukar Ali Usman collected the data from NAFDAC. Dooshima Kwange, Mwapu Dika Ndahi and Ayi Vandi Kwaghe collated and analyzed the data. Mwapu Dika Ndahi drafted the manuscript and was edited by Jens Kirk Andersen. Ayi Vandi Kwaghe further developed the manuscript. Dooshima Kwange, Mwapu Dika Ndahi, Olaniran Alabi, Bukar Ali Usman, Jens Kirk Andersen, Peter Umanah and Ayi Vandi Kwaghe edited and approved the final version of the manuscript.



Acknowledgements Up    Down

We acknowledge NAFDAF for providing us with the data for this study. We acknowledge the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria for his immense support to the AMR Programme (Animal Health Sector) in Nigeria and for encouraging us to publish this work.



Table Up    Down

Table 1: active ingredients (n=12) of antimicrobials imported to Nigeria, 2014-2017



References Up    Down

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