World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020

Antimicrobials are arguably one of the most important medical discoveries of the 20th century and have transformed both human and animal health globally.

These compounds have been used to improve success of surgery and overall morbidity in humans and animals and have been used extensively across the food chain to improve growth rates in livestock.

We now know that antimicrobials are not a magic bullet and soon after their initial use resistant organisms followed (Rammelkamp and Maxon 1942). However, we recognise the importance of these antimicrobials compounds for future global health and great strides have been made in reducing unnecessary and excessive use, with many countries choosing to move away from the use of Antimicrobial Growth Promoters (AGPs) and setting global goals to reduce the consumption of antimicrobials. Testimony to this the EU banned AGPs in 2006 and in the UK alone antimicrobial use saw a decline of 22% between 2011-2014.  The veterinary industry has been fundamental to these changes, but it is important we continue and work together as veterinary, health, and scientific professionals to promote and encourage the responsible use of antimicrobials.

As a part of this industry, at Nimrod Veterinary Products we believe strongly in the proper and responsible use of these invaluable compounds, so to celebrate World Antimicrobial Awareness Week we have the following pointers for responsible antimicrobial use:

  • DO follow the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture guidelines on responsible use of antimicrobials, ensuring that if HP-CIAs need to be used then sensitivity testing is adopted.
  • Where possible know what you are treating. Determine whether you are treating a bacterial infection or non-bacterial infection.
  • Prevention is crucial in avoiding the need for antimicrobial use and good husbandry and hygiene are key to this. Famers and animal owners are the first line of defence and it is important that vets educate and promote responsible antimicrobial usage. Flock and herd health clubs are a great way of encouraging this.
  • Use good clinical judgement. It is NOT responsible to avoid antimicrobial use where it is required. However, in necessary cases DO use the correct dosage.