New antimicrobial resistance resource for vets

Vets, pet owners, farmers and the community can make informed choices about treating animal infections, thanks to a new online guide, co-developed by the University of Sydney.
Professor Jacqui Norris

Professor Jacqui Norris.

Staph infections in dogs and pneumonia in horses are among the infections seen in veterinarian practice, affected by increases in antimicrobial resistance. A new resource aims to promote best-practice management of diseases in veterinary practice to reduce the likelihood of antimicrobial resistance developing.

AMR Vet Collective will assist veterinary practitioners by keeping them up to date with the latest information on antimicrobial resistance reduction in animals and humans.

Developed by researchers from University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science (Professor Jacqueline Norris) and Charles Sturt University Veterinary School (Dr Kellie Thomas and Associate Professor Jane Heller), the resource is available online, free of charge, to anyone who is interested.

“The aim of the website and learning resources is to improve veterinary awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), promote best-practice antimicrobial drug prescription, and therefore aid disease management,” co-creator, Professor Jacqueline Norris said.

“Whether you’re a veterinary student or an experienced practitioner, with the latest in evidence-based information, we hope the guide bolsters your confidence in this subject,” Professor Norris continued.

A drawing of a man and a horse with common infections listed

Certain resistant pathogens warrant ongoing surveillance and frequent review of treatment protocols. Credit: AMR Vet Collective.

The guide dovetails with Australia’s National Action Plan on AMR. The national plan is part of a Global Action Plan developed by the World Health Organisation.

Increase in resistant infections


Credit: Unsplash.

When microorganisms become resistant to antibiotics, for example, simple infections can become chronic, serious, or even life threatening. This leads to increased costs of veterinary care, a higher rate of treatment failure, and more antimicrobial use. Ironically, this can further increase an animal’s resistance to a particular drug.

“In veterinary practice, we are seeing an increase in resistant surgical site infections and urinary tract infections,” Professor Norris said. For example, the resistant bacterium, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) in dogs is becoming more commonly seen in some urinary tract and skin infections, especially post surgery in Australia.

“The extremely drug-resistant nature of MRSP threatens our ability to perform routine procedures. With informed prescribing practices, we can slow the spread of this pathogen,” Professor Norris said.

Equipped with the series of resources and guides, veterinarians can help communicate the importance of AMR to pet owners, farmers and the community, so that we can share in the responsibility of safeguarding these precious medications for many years to come.

Declaration: This project is funded by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

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