AVMA Addresses Antimicrobial Resistance at Global Conference

November 2, 2018
Amanda Carrozza

Amanda Carrozza is a freelance writer and editor in New Jersey.

The AVMA presented at OIE’s global conference to promote the association’s ongoing antimicrobial stewardship campaigns.

Representatives from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have spent the week in Morocco promoting the message of antimicrobial stewardship in front of a global audience at the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) Global Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance. The AVMA explained that its involvement in the conference is part of the association’s commitment to ensuring the continued availability of crucial medications while helping to prevent antimicrobial resistance in both animals and people.

“Our participation in the OIE conference will allow the AVMA to interact with external stakeholders on a One Health platform to deal with antimicrobial use and resistance, and to share the resources the AVMA has developed to support antimicrobial stewardship,” said Michael Costin, DVM, MBA, assistant director of the AVMA’s Division of Animal and Public Health, said before the conference. “It’s a great opportunity for us to make connections with colleagues from across the globe and make sure the collective voice of the AVMA is heard.”


  • Does Antibiotic Use in Dogs Lead to Resistance in Humans?
  • Antimicrobial Resistance Through a One Health Lens

While at the conference, Dr. Costin presented a poster that detailed how incorporating the principles of antimicrobial stewardship into veterinary degree education, continuing education, and USDA accreditation will ensure veterinarians are educated on the key tenets of successful veterinary antimicrobial stewardship and are well positioned to integrate those tenets successfully into their practices.

Antimicrobial stewardship, particularly as it pertains to One Health, has received underscored attention recently from major players in both veterinary and human medicine. In September, The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine unveiled its 5-year blueprint to address antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings. Some of the main points in the plan include the elimination of production uses of medically important antimicrobials—such as those used to treat human disease—and to bring all other therapeutic uses of antimicrobials under the oversight of licensed veterinarians.

Research on how the use of antibiotics in food and companion animals might impact resistance in humans is also ongoing. At IDWeek 2018, investigators from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine presented a study on how treating dogs with amoxicillin-clavulanate might lead to antibiotic resistance in both dog and owner.

And in a recent interview with American Veterinarian®, Megin Nichols, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, enteric zoonoses activity lead at the CDC, explained some of the core principles veterinarians can adopt in becoming a strong steward of antibiotic use.

While the AVMA is not a formal partner with the OIE, the association remains heavily involved in global antimicrobial stewardship efforts. For example, the association recently signed on to the CDC’s Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge, a year-long campaign to accelerate the fight against antimicrobial resistance across the globe. As part of this campaign, the AVMA has committed to:

  • Continue collaborating with the FDA on veterinary oversight of antimicrobials.
  • Educate veterinarians and pet owners about antimicrobial stewardship and provide guidance for implementing stewardship plans.
  • Assist with enhanced surveillance of antibiotic use in animals.
  • Promote research on infection control, responsible use of antimicrobials, and development of alternatives.
  • Engage with key international stakeholders to support antimicrobial stewardship.

In February, the AVMA established its own policy on antimicrobial stewardship that was touted as a “call to action” for the profession to advocate for preserving antimicrobial effectiveness. The approval of the policy marked the first time the veterinary profession unified behind a definition and core tenets of antimicrobial stewardship. In addition, the AVMA is collaborating with various allied veterinary organizations on the creation of resources and tools to help educate veterinarians about stewardship and to develop stewardship plans for their practices.