Major antibiotic resistance survey needs your input

When bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them, we’re all in trouble. The mitigation of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) microorganisms is one of the most important global challenges facing both human and animal healthcare.

Researchers at Colorado State University and the Colorado Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence have partnered in a survey of small animal veterinary antibiotic prescription practices with the aim of finding ways that the veterinary profession can participate in the fight.

They need your help.

Dan Taylor, DVM, MPH, PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health and one of the researchers behind the study, told NEWStat, “We’re looking to accurately assess how antibiotics are being used in small animal practice.” They’re also seeking veterinary opinions and perceptions on antimicrobial resistance and stewardship that influence a hospital’s use of antimicrobial drugs.

“We hope to paint an accurate picture of current antibiotic prescription practices at small animal hospitals,” Taylor says. It’s a big undertaking: “There hasn't been a study of small animal antibiotic use of this magnitude yet in the United States.”

Although significant efforts aimed at reducing the use of clinically important antimicrobial drugs (AMD) are underway, there’s a critical lack of information about small animal veterinary prescription practices, antimicrobial use policies, and motivating factors that influence AMD usage—information you can supply.

Taylor says AAHA members can help by filling out the survey and lending their expertise in antibiotic use: “Ultimately, this survey will serve for the good of the profession and AAHA members can [help] make that a reality.” The survey takes approximately eight minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. Take the survey here.

Taylor’s team will present their findings at the 2019 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Convention in August and publish the results next fall. Eventually, the data they gather will direct the development of effective training, tools, and other resources for veterinarians aimed at preventing AMR and promoting antibiotic stewardship.

The project is funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and supported by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, the AVMA, and AAHA (see AHHA's Basic Guidelines for Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials here), as well as by many state veterinary medical associations.

“The biggest obstacle in educating veterinary professionals about AMR is determining what [they] need to make antibiotic stewardship successful,” says Taylor.

Take the survey to help Taylor and his colleagues determine what you need.

Photo credit: © Dr_Microbe

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