Antimicrobial resistance: AVMA takes steps to address a critical health issue

agriculture_feed_handAntimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance are hot issues in society right now, and protecting veterinarians’ access to these drugs that are critical to the health and welfare of their patients—while also serving the interests of public health—is a primary objective for the AVMA.

On January 6, the AVMA took significant steps to help the veterinary profession prevent antimicrobial resistance in both animals and people.

The AVMA House of Delegates approved the profession’s first-ever Definition of Antimicrobial Stewardship and Core Principles of Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Medicine. Their  adoption is an important first step in fulfillment of the association’s commitment to provide resources and tools for veterinarians that support conscientious decision-making in the use of antimicrobials. The core principles adopted by the AVMA on behalf of its members include:

  • A clearly stated commitment by veterinarians to stewardship;
  • Support for systems of care that include a multi-pronged approach to  preventing common diseases;
  • Judicious selection and use of antimicrobial drugs;
  • Ongoing evaluation of the efficacy of antimicrobial drug-use practices; and
  • A commitment to professional education research that expands the profession’s knowledge base and supports good decision-making.

The definition and core principles were developed by the AVMA’s Committee on Antimicrobials, made up of individuals representing a diverse array of veterinary organizational, species, and practice interests. The policy was subsequently reviewed and approved by the AVMA’s House of Delegates, which includes representation from all 50 states, the nation’s territories, and the AVMA’s allied veterinary associations. As such, veterinarians and other stakeholders can be confident that the policy represents the consensus of the veterinary profession.

In addition to providing guidance for the veterinary profession, the AVMA recognizes that only a One Health approach is likely to effectively mitigate the development of antimicrobial resistance. Those reviewing the AVMA’s new policy will see parallels between it and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship Programs,” which provide a similar framework for antibiotic stewardship for outpatient clinicians and facilities that routinely use antibiotics as part of their treatment paradigms in human medicine. By building on parallel goals, the AVMA and its Committee on Antimicrobials hope to encourage and support better collaboration between veterinary and human medicine. It’s important that we embrace shared values and build consensus on antimicrobial stewardship.

From here, the AVMA will collaborate with the association’s allied veterinary organizations in the creation of resources to help individual veterinarians best utilize the new policy as they develop their veterinary practice stewardship plans. Regular updates will be provided as these new tools are released.

5 thoughts on “Antimicrobial resistance: AVMA takes steps to address a critical health issue

  1. We now see more fungal infections in wildlife, bats with white nose, skin fungal infections in snakes, and now frogs have more fungal disease. We know antibiotic use leads to more fungal infections, yet we pour a potent antibiotic—glyphosate, (aka Roundup) used as a weed kill—on 70% of crops, as well as every park, yard, garden and roadside. Glyphosate is patented as an antibiotic. It kills the normal flora in our digestive tracts and interferes with hundreds of metabolic functions these bacteria do for us. The same is happening to wildlife. Plants treated with glyphosate also have more fungal growth on them. We need to stop poisoning ourselves and destroying our niche. How can we protect these creatures and ourselves when big agriculture is saturating our country with antibiotic? Europe outlawed it years ago. We need to follow their example.

  2. I have been using Baytril, Amikacin, Gentocin, and Marbofloxin where many previous treatments have failed. Instead of waiting until Simlicef has failed and ONLY then resorting to the afore mentioned antibiotics, there are many times when I start antibiotic use with the so-called 2nd tier antibiotics. I have a sacred responsibly to provide the very best medications possible. In addition, I have many times provided a second and even a third opinion for clients who have been “Simplicef to death”. It not until they find me, a vet who is not afraid to start with stronger antibiotics, that finally ends the infection. The eggheads at TAMU as well as other “board certified” vets have SCARED young vets into not using Gentocin, amikacin, enrofloxicins, and others. While doing so is such a great disservice to the suffering animal in front of the practitioner. In other words, while thinking of patients in mass, the one in front of you cares about the here and now. I say use the strongest antibiotic you can use the First Time, not only if the first line fails which is more and more often. I refuse to be intimidated by “specialists” who are simply writing articles to further their name at the expense of intimidated young vets that leads to poor treatment outcomes. I have and will continue to put my patients welfare many miles ahead of satisfying a so called “general principle” established by an academic eggheads who are not on the first line trenches of treating beloved pets

  3. The AVMA has contributed to this problem for years by supporting the use of antibiotics in healthy food animals. Unless you reverse this stance, you would be hypocritical to bother with addressing this issue.

    • It is about time to look at our antibiotics as medicine from the past and look to other modalities like Ozone therapy and Ultraviolet Blood Therapy to help treat the infection. With ozone, you are supporting the immune system by increasing activation of the mitochondria. The UVB treatments actually are making an auto -vaccine to the issue being addressed. I have been doing Micro Biome Restorative Therapy or MBRT or also known As Fecal MIcroBiota Transplantation FMT. We are doing it with infection and for animals that have been on a lot of antibiotics and NSAIDs as they increase the dysbiosis of the gut. Amazing miracles occur when the immune system repairs and steps up to help the animals heal. With over 6,000 treatments over 7 years, we have seen what our internal garden can do to reboot and bring back health

  4. What took you, AVMA, so long to accomplish this leadership that should have been done 50 years ago!!!! One delay has been the snowflake attitudes and attention to every touchy feely idea rather that the core of our Profession.