Antimicrobial use in animals in Timor-Leste based on veterinary antimicrobial imports between 2016 and 2019

Shawn Ting, Abrao Pereira, Amalia de Jesus Alves, Salvador Fernandes, Cristina da Costa Soares, Felix Joanico Soares, Onofre da Costa Henrique, Steven Davis, Jennifer Yan, Joshua R. Francis, Tamsin S. Barnes, Joanita Bendita da Costa Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Downloads (Pure)


Monitoring veterinary antimicrobial use is part of the global strategy to tackle antimicrobial resistance. The purpose of this study was to quantify veterinary antimicrobials imported into Timor-Leste between 2016 and 2019 and describe the antimicrobial import profile of importers. Data were obtained from import applications received by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) of Timor-Leste. Import quantities were analysed by antimicrobial class, importance for human medicine, recommended route of administration and type of importer. An average of 57.4kg (s.d. 31.0kg) and 0.55 mg/kg (s.d. 0.27 mg/kg) animal biomass of antimicrobials was imported per year. Tetracyclines (35.5%), penicillins (23.7%), and macrolides (15.9%) were the commonly imported antimicrobial classes. Antimicrobials imported for parenteral administration were most common (60.1%). MAF was the largest importer (52.4%). Most of the critically important antimicrobials for human medicine were imported by poultry farms for oral administration and use for growth promotion could not be ruled out. In conclusion, the use of antimicrobials in animals in Timor-Leste is very low, in keeping with its predominantly subsistence agriculture system. Farmer education, development of treatment guidelines, and strengthening of the veterinary service is important for addressing the potential future misuse of antimicrobials especially in the commercial poultry industry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number426
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Cite this