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Current antimicrobial usage in Vetcompass practices in dogs and cats - VM0523

Multidrug-resistance (MDR) in bacteria is a growing problem in human and animal medicine and the need to develop effective solutions is highlighted in strategy documents prepared by WHO and by European agencies. Small animal practice is an area which has not received sufficient attention as a potential reservoir of multi-resistant infections and there is limited evidence for the extent of antimicrobial (AM) usage in companion animal practice across the UK. This project aims to quantify and characterise current AM usage in companion animals in a large group of UK veterinary practices in order to evaluate companion animal AM prescribing behaviour.

The use of electronic patient records systems from practice management systems (PMS) for recording clinical events and their treatment has been developed extensively at the Royal Veterinary College within its first opinion practice project, VetCompass. VetCompass collects de-identified electronic health records from over 1.5 million companion animals attending nearly 300 practices across the UK ( It currently holds data on over 10 million episodes of care in dogs, cats and other small animals. This network provides an unrivalled platform to monitor antimicrobial usage across the UK and objectively assess AM usage behaviour. Data derived from consultations and other episodes of care occurring within the last two years would be investigated to quantify current AM usage. The level of AM usage would be reported in relation the frequency of use by AM agent, the duration of therapy and estimated daily dose. The focus would centre on systemic AM usage. Species level data would be reported and clinic level variation would be evaluated. Key results would be fed back to key industry stakeholders and veterinary practitioners in order to raise awareness of current usage and generate debate on future directions and priorities in AM usage.

This study provides an exciting opportunity to quantify across a large group of UK veterinary practices, their current usage of AMs in order to set a baseline for current companion animal prescribing practice. Lessons learnt in companion animal practice could provide a platform to develop data collection in production animal species.
The aim of the study is to quantify and characterise AM usage in companion animal practice.

The objectives are:
1. Document current systematic usage of AMs in dogs and cats attending VetCompass Practices.
2. Highlight the relative usage of AMs classified as critically important in human medicine.
3. Evaluate clinic level and spatial variation in AM usage.
4. Feedback the results to stakeholders to improve prescribing behaviour.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2015

Cost: £27,502
Contractor / Funded Organisations
The Royal Veterinary College