The opinion of veterinary clinicians on the antimicrobial stewardship guidelines

  • News
  • December 4, 2023

ENOVAT just released the survey results from veterinarians who treat companion animals regarding antimicrobial stewardship guidelines (ASGs). Results show that the awareness of ASGs and their use in companion animal veterinary practice appears to be greater than previously reported, with respondents tending to report antimicrobial prescription decision-making broadly in line with current clinical recommendations. In addition, this awareness was greatest among countries that have national guidelines, supporting the value of these guidelines.

The survey was distributed across 46 European and associated countries between 12 January and 30 June, 2022. In total, 2271 surveys were completed, with 64.9% of respondents (n = 1474) reporting awareness and usage of at least one ASG. Respondents from countries with greater awareness of ASGs tended to report more appropriate use of antimicrobials, with respondents from countries with country-specific ASGs tending to score highest across both awareness and appropriate use domains. Respondents prioritised guidance around antimicrobial choice (82.0%, n = 1863), duration of treatment (66.0%, n = 1499), and dosage (51.9%, n = 1179) for inclusion in future ASGs, with 78.0% (n = 1776) of respondents preferring ASGs to be integrated into their patient management system. 

This study provides advocacy for national bodies to create new, or adapt existing, resources to improve local dissemination. The wide range of countries included in this survey brings previously unheard voices to the table. Antimicrobial resistance is a One Health issue that will require engagement from all veterinarians. Policymakers are encouraged to consider the views of this key stakeholder group regarding the preferred content and format of future ASGs to direct the development of accessible and effective antimicrobial stewardship tools.

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