CSU to conduct national DVM survey on antimicrobial resistance, empirical use


Officials at Colorado State University (CSU) want to know all about the impact the antimicrobial resistance issue is having in private practice.

Fort Collins, Colo.-Officials at Colorado State University (CSU)want to know all about the impact the antimicrobial resistance issue ishaving in private practice.

At presstime, officials mailed a survey to 14,000 private practitionersin small animal, equine and food animal practice.

The goal, according to Dr. Paul Morley, director of biosecurity at CSU,is to accumulate the most comprehensive data to date on veterinarian attitudes,empirical uses and information sources about antimicrobial uses.

"This is in response to general concerns that federal regulatoryagencies have proposed increased limitations on the antimicrobial use inanimals, but in our opinion, there is very little information on use practicesin veterinary medicine," Morley explains. "We would like thosedecisions to be fact-based and science-based in the decision-making ratherthan conjecture."

Want to know

The survey queries veterinarians about whether they are concerned aboutantimicrobial resistance in practice, where they get information on antibioticresistance and how they decide what drug doses to use, he says. "Also,we would like to know how veterinary medicine and other veterinarians fitinto the whole picture of antimicrobial resistance."

Morley adds, "The second part of the survey, deals with their specificempirical use practices. They are given a series of scenarios of individualanimals with certain conditions, and asked what drugs would they use andat what dose," he says.

Tabulation of the survey will allow Morley and others involved with theproject to break the data out by practice types to derive conclusions aboutantibiotic use practices.

Morely adds, "We have good response to the concept, but it willall come down to the end on how many veterinarians will respond."

The issues which have surfaced over the last few years on antibioticresistance are very important to society, he says. Therefore, the surveywould be a start to answer questions about antibiotic uses in veterinarymedicine.

Morley explains, "There is language that has started to creep intoreports, for example from the World Health Organization, that point a damningfinger at veterinary medicine, suggesting that people involved in agricultureand people involved with veterinary medicine do not use antimicrobial drugsprudently. Our quest is to obtain some factual information about that."

Results in early fall

The survey was mailed to practitioners in April. Morley hopes participatingveterinarians will return the surveys to CSU in early May; and researcherswould then work to tabulate the results and start disseminating initialresults as early as this fall.

The survey has been funded by CSU and is being conducted in conjunctionwith other projects focused on antimicrobial resistance.

Morley explains, "This is just one part of our investigation ofthe issue. Other work funded by the United States Department of Agricultureand Food and Drug Administration is looking at risk factors for developmentof antimicrobial resistance as well as the ecology of antimicrobial resistancein food producing operations. We are also working on developing a monitoringprogram for antimicrobial drug use in the veterinary teaching hospital atthe college," he says.

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