UPSC PRELIMS 2019: Colistin


Topic : Colistin

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Society – Health Issues


Context :


The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an order prohibiting the manufacture, sale and distribution of colistin and its formulations for food-producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements.


About Colistin

  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Colistin is a “reserve” antibiotic, which means it is supposed to be considered a “last-resort” option in treatment and used only in the most severe circumstances, when all other alternatives have failed.



  • Colistin has been “highly misused” in India’s livestock industry to prevent diseases and as promote growth of such animals
  • One of the reasons for anti microbial resistance in India is due to unwanted use of Colistin in the poultry industry,


About the recent govt order

  • The order directed manufacturers of colistin and its formulations (since it is also used to treat humans) to affix a label on the container reading thus: Not to be used in food producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements: on the package, insert and promotional literature.
  • Cutting the use of colistin in the food industry, particularly as growth supplements used in animals, poultry, aqua farms, and limiting it to therapeutic usage only would likely reduce the antimicrobial resistance within the country.


Sample Question:

Colistin is

a. antibiotic that saves lives in critical care units

b. used as a growth promoter drug

c. both a and b

d. none


Answer: b