Antimicrobial stewardship programmes (ASPs) have been widely implemented in medical practice to improve antimicrobial prescribing and reduce selection for multidrug-resistant pathogens.
To implement different antimicrobial stewardship intervention packages in 135 veterinary practices and assess their impact on antimicrobial prescribing.
In October 2018, general veterinary clinics were assigned to one of three levels of ASP, education only (CON), intermediate (AMS1) or intensive (AMS2). De-identified prescribing data (1 October 2016 to 31 October 2020), sourced from VetCompass Australia, were analysed and a Poisson regression model fitted to identify the effect of the interventions on the incidence rates of antimicrobial prescribing.
The overall incidence rate (IR) of antimicrobial prescribing for dogs and cats prior to the intervention was 3.7/100 consultations, which declined by 36% (2.4/100) in the implementation period, and by 50% (1.9/100) during the post-implementation period. Compared with CON, in AMS2 there was a 4% and 6% reduction in the overall IR of antimicrobial prescribing, and a 24% and 24% reduction in IR of high importance antimicrobial prescribing, attributable to the intervention in the implementation and post-implementation periods, respectively. A greater mean difference in the IR of antimicrobial prescribing was seen in high-prescribing clinics.
These AMS interventions had a positive impact in a large group of general veterinary practices, resulting in a decline in overall antimicrobial use and a shift towards use of antimicrobials rated as low importance, with the greatest impact in high-prescribing clinics.
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Hardefeldt, L. Y., B. Hur, S. Richards, R. Scarborough, G. F. Browning, H. Billman-Jacobe, J. R. Gilkerson, et al. “Antimicrobial Stewardship in Companion Animal Practice: An Implementation Trial in 135 General Practice Veterinary Clinics.” JAC-Antimicrobial Resistance 4, no. 1 (February 1, 2022): dlac015. https://doi.org/10.1093/jacamr/dlac015.