Article Text

Factors influencing Danish veterinarians’ choice of antimicrobials prescribed for intestinal diseases in weaner pigs
  1. Esben Oestergaard Eriksen,
  2. Simon Smed,
  3. Karl Johan Klit and
  4. John Elmerdahl Olsen
  1. Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg C, Denmark
  1. E-mail for correspondence; jeo{at}


Background Antimicrobial resistance is a worldwide human and animal health problem, and there is an urgent need to promote prudent use of antimicrobials among veterinarians. In order to do so, it is important to understand the factors that determine their use of antimicrobials. This questionnaire-based study aimed to determine which factors that influence the Danish veterinarians’ choice of antimicrobials prescribed for intestinal diseases in weaner pigs.

Methods The survey was completed by 83.3 per cent (n=105) of all veterinarians accountable for a Veterinary Advisory Contract in Danish weaner pig herds (n=126). The participants scored to which extent 29 different factors influenced their antimicrobial choice on a five-point Likert scale (1-5).

Results The veterinarian’s own experiences of clinical efficacy in the herd exerted the greatest influence (94.4 per cent scored ≥4). The Danish authorities have directed a threshold of the antimicrobial use and made some antimicrobials less favourable to use in pig production through The Yellow Card Initiative, and this influenced the choice of antimicrobials significantly (78.1 per cent scored ≥4). Microbiological laboratory diagnostics influenced the choice of antimicrobial for most veterinarians (78.1 per cent scored 4 or 5), and therefore the Danish statutory requirement of laboratory diagnostics before flock treatment was considered reasonable.

Conclusion The study concluded that many factors influenced the veterinarians choice of antimicrobials, and that statutory requirments can be used to support prudent use of antimicrobials.

  • antimicrobials
  • diarrhoea
  • weaners

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval No ethical approval was sought for the study, as it was not necessary for this type of study according to Danish legislation.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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