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Antimicrobial prescribing practices

in equine medicine

C. E. Welsh, T. D. H. Parkin, J. F. Marshall

AS antimicrobial resistant bacterial strains continue to emerge and spread in human and animal populations, understanding prescription practices is key to benchmarking current performance and setting goals. To date, there have been few studies investigating antimicrobial prescription practices in equine medicine. The aim of this study was to ascertain the rate of prescribing of ‘reserved’ antimicrobials using equine medical records collected in the USA and Canada, and to identify trends in their empirical use.

A dataset of electronic medical records from a sample of equine practices across the USA and Canada was obtained from their common practice management software provider (n=1,005,976 records for 116,600 individual horses). A bespoke dictionary of terms related to systemic antimicrobial prescribing, hospitalisation and culture and sensitivity testing (CST) was created using commercially available text mining software to identify commonly used antimicrobials from each of the three classes deemed by the WHO as critical for human health (‘reserved’): enrofloxacin, clarithromycin and ceftiofur prescriptions. Time series analysis and logistic regression were used to identify trends and risk factors …

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