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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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CVM Produces Animation Showing How Bacteria Become Resistant

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter September/October 2004 Volume XIX, No V

To make the concept of antimicrobial resistance more understandable to all potential audiences, the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has created a 9-minute animated video that depicts the ways bacteria typically acquire resistance to antimicrobial drugs.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken several steps to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance, which is a concern to physicians as well as food safety specialists. CVM is addressing the public health threat from the development of resistance in foodborne bacteria resulting from the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals. CVM considers antimicrobial resistance to be one of its top priorities.

The purpose of the video is to advance understanding by key audiences, particularly veterinary students and livestock producers, of the issue of anti-microbial resistance by showing how the process works.

Dr. Robert Walker, director of CVM’s Division of Animal and Food Microbiology, and Dr. David White, a research microbiologist in the division, served as subject matter experts on the animation. They developed and explained the molecular and microbiological concepts. FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health provided the production personnel.

Vash Klein, the project officer who oversaw the development of the animation, said, “We believe that an obstacle to understanding the issue of antimicrobial resistance is that it seems too abstract. The animated video was developed to help make the concept of antimicrobial resistance more real and understandable. We hope this animation will make the concept more accessible to non-scientists and that it will generate interest in and support for the Center’s activities to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance.”

The color video animation demonstrates how bacteria can develop resistance to antimicrobial drugs. It further explores the mechanisms of resistance as well as the genetics of resistance transfer. Along with the animation, the video includes text and a “voice over” that explains what is occurring in the video.

The animation is available at: CVM's Web site and may be downloaded and used by anyone who wishes to do so.