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TRADITIONALLY, when discussing the responsible stewardship of antimicrobial products, most of the focus has been on their use in food-producing animals. However, as Sally-Anne Argyle, lecturer in veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics at Edinburgh university, explained at the BSAVA Congress, there is now more emphasis on their use in companion animals.
‘Antimicrobial stewardship’ meant taking responsibility for a precious, finite and valuable resource and managing it wisely. Key to this was prescribing – it was up to the veterinary profession to control the use of antimicrobials in animals as all were prescription-only veterinary medicines. ‘We have a lot of control in terms of how these are used,’ she said.
In an ideal world, stewardship meant deciding if an antibiotic was required, identifying the target organism and then selecting an appropriate antibiotic and deciding …