Assessment of antimicrobial usage and residues in commercial chicken eggs from smallholder poultry keepers in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania.
Occurrence of antimicrobial residues in commercial chicken eggs was determined in Morogoro municipality between January and February 2007. Twenty smallholder farmers were interviewed on the types of antimicrobials, reasons of use and their awareness on antimicrobial withdrawal period. Seventy egg samples were collected for qualitative antimicrobial drug residues analysis by use of agar well diffusion and Delvotest SP® assays. It was found that farmers use antimicrobial drugs as prophylaxis and treatment of common chicken diseases namely fowl typhoid (85%), infectious bursa disease (Gumboro) (65%) infectious coryza (65%), collibacilosis (55%), coccidiosis (54%), Newcastle disease (50%), helminthosis (20%) and fowl pox (15%). Antimicrobials accounted for 85% of the drugs commonly used. It was also found that 65% of the farmers treat their chicken themselves. The common drugs were oxytetracycline (75%), egg booster (50%), amprolium (35%), sulphamethoxypyridazine (35%), sulphanilamide (25%), chlortetracyclines (10%), chloramphenicol (10%), sulphadiazine-trimethoprim (20%), duoxycycline (20%), sulphadiazine (25%) and flumequine (10%). Eighty per cent of the farmers had knowledge on antimicrobial withdrawal period sold eggs before withdrawal period and almost 85% were unaware of possible effects of antimicrobial residues in humans. All 70 eggs were positive to antimicrobial residues by Delvotest kit, but 21.4% positive with agar well diffusion test. It was concluded that the presence of antimicrobial residues in table eggs could be of public health significance to the egg consumers in Morogoro municipality.