Providing Potential Alternatives to Antibiotics: Pakistan Poultry Consumer’s Acceptance of Bacteriophage Technology for Microbial Control

Kevin Taylor Thompson, Purdue University


There is an increasing global awareness of the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance. Measures are being taken by non-government organizations, nations and individual entities to address this intensely pressing issue which ultimately threatens human lives. The One Health initiative provides a framework which may advance public understanding of and willingness to address antimicrobial resistance. One Health seeks to identify alternative solutions to problems through an understanding of the human-animal-ecological interconnection. There are several alternatives to antibiotics that have been proposed in livestock (and specifically poultry) production systems. This work focused specifically on the prospect of bacteriophages as a tool for microbial control. A sample of 1,497 respondents targeted to be representative of the population of Pakistan completed a survey providing data about knowledge of antibiotics, the threats of antimicrobial resistance, and their food shopping behaviors. A hypothetical discrete choice experiment was used to elicit survey respondent’s choices amongst various chicken products which varied according to purchase location (supermarket versus wet market) and were labeled with regard to the use of antibiotics in production. Respondents were randomly assigned into one or two groups. One group saw in-depth information about antibiotics and bacteriophage technology alongside basic information about poultry prices, purchase location, and product labeling. The other group saw only basic information about purchase location, pricing, and product labeling, but were not provided the additional information about antibiotics or bacteriophage technology and its potential effectiveness for microbial control. In addition to the estimation of consumer willingness to pay for poultry production processes, respondent’s food shopping behavior, familiarity with antibiotic use, and familiarity with bacteriophages or phages was assessed. A random parameters logit model was used to estimate Pakistan poultry consumer’s willingness to pay for bacteriophage technology as an alternative to antibiotics in poultry production.




Widmar, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Agriculture|Animal sciences|Behavioral psychology|Economics|Medicine|Pharmacology|Psychology|South Asian Studies

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