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Antimicrobial Resistance

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Antimicrobial resistance is an emerging clinical problem that is recognised internationally as one of the largest threats to human and animal health.

All major health and veterinary organisations are working to try and limit the development of resistance so that effective antimicrobials can be retained for use in clinical practice. BEVA believes that effective self-regulation on the responsible use of antimicrobials is a more suitable option than a legislative solution.

The PROTECT ME toolkit is modelled on BSAVA PROTECT guidelines developed by SAMSoc, but incorporating the essential watchwords ‘Monitor’ and ‘Educate’. 

NEW: EAAD 2015 - Client Information Leaflets

As part of European Antimicrobial Awareness Day in 2015, BEVA is calling on members to promote education about antibiotic resistance. BEVA has produced client information leaflets that can be provided to clients in paper form, as well as shortened URLs and QR codes that can be attached to medicine packaging. 

These leaflets are designed to promote a better understanding of antimicrobial resistance and how to use these medicines responsibly. Recent research from the WHO showed that 74% of the global population do not understand what the term antimicrobial resistance means. 

Labels can be printed (21 per page) and attached prior to prescribing. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS

Alternatively use the QR code below

Antibiotic use QR code


Practice Policy

Develop protocols for antimicrobial usage based on common clinical scenarioas

Classify key antibiotics as PROTECTED or AVOIDED


Reduce Prophylaxis

Develop rational protocols for prophylaxis

  • Define prophylaxis for surgical procedures whether CLEAN, CONTAMINATED or HIGH RISK

Rationalise disease control

  • For common conditions eg the neonate and Streptococcus equi var equi
  • Utilise HBLB codes for management of infectious diseases


Other options

Reduce or replace antimicrobials with other methods for bacterial reduction

• Utilise wound debridement / lavage

• Consider topical preparations or local intravenous administration


Types of drug and bacteria

Select appropriate drugs based on empirical use guidelines

  • Use cytology where possible 
  • Consider the dose and pharmacokinetics of the drugs selected
  • Avoid empical use of the highest priority critically important antimicrobials
    • The macrolides (eg azithromycin)
    • The fluoroquinolones (eg enrofloxacin)
    • The 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins (ceftiofur and cefquinome)


Employ narrow spectrum drugs wherever possible

• e.g. penicillin, rather than drug combinations.


Culture and sensitivity

Use bacterial culture promptly

  • Especially when
    • clinical response is less than expected
    • when long term therapy is suspected 


Treat effectively

Enough drug for long enough then stop 

  • Standardise dosing frequency and dose rates across the practice
  • Sometimes dosing intervals licenced in the marketing authorisation differ from current clinical evidence.
  • Review the veterinary literature to determine optimal dosing here


Monitor antimicrobial use, compliance and resistance

  • Undertake a clinical audit of antimicrobial use within your practice 
  • Formulate a policy to record the use of protected antimicrobials in your practice 
  • Formulate a policy to review antimicrobial susceptibility from any cultures obtained within the practice
  • Audit emerging antimicrobial resistance and consider adapting guidelines for empirical use.



Inform your team and your clients 

  • Ensure that protocols and changes to protocols are cascaded through the entire team 

  • Educate your clients to reduce pressure for antimicrobial prescribing

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PROTECT ME by BEVA & Mark Bowen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.