The report from the AVMA Task Force for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Companion Animal Practice is intended to provide a "framework for instituting a clinic-level approach for judicious antimicrobial use" and other educational resources.
AVMA notes that a significant focus of the task force was to assemble the following core elements of a companion animal antimicrobial stewardship program:
- Each veterinary practice should commit to the reduction in antimicrobial resistance by creating and adopting a clinic-specific plan in which everyone contributes to effective antimicrobial stewardship.
- Antimicrobial stewardship in a practice begins with the appointment of a principal person to lead the program and to support the practice stewardship goals with all available resources.
- Practices should address issues of antimicrobial resistance by taking a proactive approach to antimicrobial use and veterinary infection control, using accepted guidelines, recommendations and expertise.
- Understanding what is working and what is not requires self-assessment and monitoring, with a goal of continual improvement.
The report, which was released November 2016, includes sections on the following:
- Why should we promote antibiotic stewardship?
- Understanding companion animal practitioners’ attitudes toward issues of antimicrobial resistance and stewardship
- Survey of veterinary laboratories regarding antibiotic susceptibility
- Practice guidelines
- Core elements of companion animal antimicrobial stewardship programs
Through the task force, AVMA has made combating antimicrobial resistance a priority. As AVMA states, "Proper use of antimicrobials in companion animals is essential to optimize therapeutic efficacy, enhance treatment success and minimize resistance to antimicrobials; all of which contribute to protecting public health and animal health and well-being."
The task force has developed a wealth of valuable resources, including do's and don'ts of antimicrobial prescribing, and provides links to resources developed by the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases and the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations. Access these resources here.