World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week
November 16th - 20th was World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. In recognition of this week, staff at Langford Veterinary Services were encouraged to sign up and become Antibiotic Guardians. 

Staff in the specialist hospital departments hosted an event for colleagues and students of the Schools of Veterinary Sciences, Medicine and Dentistry, to discuss the responsible use of antimicrobials and the efforts taken throughout the hospital to achieve this. 

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

David Barrett opened the event with an introduction explaining the current political situation and pressures on the veterinary profession to use antimicrobials responsibly. Representatives from each specialist area then gave examples of the efforts within their departments to achieve this.

David Tisdall from the Farm Animal Practice discussed a five year strategy for reducing antimicrobial use in farm animal practice, and a shift towards first line products. A collaborative approach working with farmers and using a combination of medicines auditing and improved herd health management has led to 90% reductions in the use of antimicrobials critically important for human health. Farm animal health has continued to improve over the same period.
 
Sarah Ross from the Equine Hospital discussed responsible antimicrobial use by the equine practitioner. She presented findings of a recent retrospective study which identified continued prescription of protected use antimicrobial drugs in the "first line" setting and concerning levels of under-dosing. The BEVA Protect ME guidelines were discussed alongside the Langford Equine Hospital Policy on antimicrobial use. 
 
Christina Maunder from the Small Animal Hospital illustrated the 'traffic light' system that operates in the pharmacy and highlighted the concept of first-line and second-choice antibiotics that should be prescribed. She also drew attention to the PROTECT poster that was devised by the Small Animal Medicine Society and British Small Animal Veterinary Association and how this should ideally be employed in every practice.
 
Kristen Reyher summarised the research work being done at Bristol and the collective effort of staff across the site, briefly describing the work done by Langford's Antimicrobial Resistance FORCE, a multidisciplinary group of veterinarians and researchers working on a number of projects regarding antimicrobial use and science. From veterinarian and farmer behaviour change to advising retailers on antimicrobial stewardship policies to measuring resistance patterns in real-world situations on farm, this group is doing exciting work on many fronts.
 
Finally, we should mention the growing interest of veterinary practitioners in antimicrobial awareness and responsible use. The farm practice has been approached by several local livestock practices to discuss this concept and ask for advice. Due to the enquiries from clients and the need for our profession to address this subject, we are planning a CPD event during next year's World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (14-18th November 2016). Specific details of this event will be announced nearer the time on our CPD events page. We would urge you to make a note in your diary and encourage you to attend.