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Trial shows benefit of stewardship programmes for AMR
The trial saw use of the highest priority critically important antimicrobials fall in cats by 40 per cent.

Findings will form the basis of a national programme.

Stewardship programmes can help reduce the use of the highest priority critically important antimicrobials (HPCIAs) in veterinary practice, according to new research.

A trial by the University of Liverpool’s Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) found that antimicrobial stewardship programmes can cut the use of HPCIAs by as much as 40 per cent. 

In the trial, high frequency-prescribing veterinary practices were randomly placed into three groups: a control group, a light intervention group and a heavy intervention group, consisting of 20 veterinary practices in each group.

Over eight months, both intervention groups saw a significant decrease in HPCIA prescription frequency in cats; the light group by 17 per cent and the heavy group by 40 per cent. In dogs, the only significant decrease was seen in the heavy group, which saw HPCIA prescription frequency fall by 23 per cent. 

Lead researcher Dr David Singleton explained: “This trial demonstrates that companion animal veterinary practitioners respond to notification of being outside of a 'social norm' (i.e. being a high-frequency HPCIA prescriber), and are responsive to involvement in structured antimicrobial stewardship programmes.”

Antibiotic resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest threats to human health. According to the World Health Organisation, at least 700,000 people die each year due to resistant diseases – a figure which is predicted to exceed 10 million people per year by 2020.

Dr Singleton added: “Use of antimicrobials is a key driver for development of AMR. It is vital that the veterinary profession embraces the responsible use of antimicrobials, to safeguard human and animal health and to preserve the right to prescribe certain antimicrobials that are important in human medicine.

"Of these, the highest priority critically important antimicrobials (HPCIAs), including fluoroquinolones and third-generation cephalosporins, are considered of greatest importance by the World Health Organisation."

The findings of the trial, published in Nature Communications, will now form the basis of a national antimicrobial stewardship programme, in collaboration with SAVSNET, CVS Group and RCVS Knowledge. 

Co-author Angela Rayner, director of quality improvement at CVS Group, added: “We are grateful for and wish to say thank you to, the many people who have supported this trial and to the hard work of the practice teams in CVS, who responded to the call to action to produce these excellent results. Without these caring individuals, this would not have been possible.”

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Webinar to focus on equine worm control

News Story 1
 Vets, veterinary nurses and RAMAs are being invited to join a free CPD webinar on late winter and early spring equine worm control.

Hosted by Zoetis vet Dr Wendy Talbot, the webinar aims to help prescribers understand which parasites are of most concern at this time of year. It will also cover how to assess parasite risk, selecting a suitable wormer and spring wormer plans, concluding with a Q&A session.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, 18 March at 10 am and will be repeated at 7 pm for those unable to listen during the day. To book the 10 am webinar, click here, and to register for the 7 pm webinar, click here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.