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Evaluation of Antibiotic Residues in Milk from Kenyan Milk ATMs


Antibiotic resistance in Milk

The risk of consuming milk containing antimicrobial residues presents a major public health problem by introducing a selective pressure that supports the development of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria. The use of antibiotics in livestock farming is widely recognized as one major driving force for the rise in AMR bacteria worldwide. Over the years, the frequency of AMR-related illnesses has been rising, especially in developing countries. To investigate one possible route for AMR development using the One Health framework, a total of 80 milk samples from commercial providers (n=25), local/street vendors (n=21) and Milk ATMs (n=34) were collected in Eldoret, Kenya. Samples were tested for the presence of elevated levels of antibiotic residues from four types of antibiotics during a 15-day study between the months of December 2016 and January 2017. IDEXX SNAP tests were used for determining the presence of antibiotics. Results indicated that 2/34(5.9%), 1/34(2.9%), 1/34(2.9%) and 3/34(8.8%) of milk samples were positive for tetracycline, sulfonamide, Beta-lactam and Gentamicin, respectively. Overall, 29% of the samples from the milk ATMs and 24% of samples from the local vendor were positive for at least one of the antibiotics tested. However, none (0%) of the commercial samples exhibited a positive result for any antibiotic. Higher prevalence of antibiotic residues were observed in milk from the Milk ATM and local vendor compared to commercially-packaged milk. Further research and potential regulation is needed to further examine and prevent the inappropriate use of antibiotics within the private dairy industry in Kenya.