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Opinions of clinical veterinarians at a US veterinary teaching hospital regarding antimicrobial use and antimicrobial-resistant infections

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  • 1 Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • | 2 Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Human Health and the Environment, College of Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • | 3 Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • | 6 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • | 7 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • | 8 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • | 9 Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.

Abstract

Objective—To determine opinions of faculty members with clinical appointments, clinical veterinarians, residents, and interns at a US veterinary teaching hospital regarding antimicrobial use and antimicrobial-resistant infections.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample—71 veterinarians.

Procedures—An online questionnaire was sent to all veterinarians with clinical service responsibilities at the North Carolina State University veterinary teaching hospital (n = 167). The survey included 23 questions regarding demographic information, educational experiences, current prescribing practices, and personal opinions related to antimicrobial selection, antimicrobial use, restrictions on antimicrobial use, and antimicrobial resistance.

Results—Of the 167 veterinarians eligible to participate, 71 (43%) responded. When respondents were asked to rate their level of concern (very concerned = 1; not concerned = 5) about antimicrobial-resistant infections, most (41/70 [59%]) assigned a score of 1, with mean score for all respondents being 1.5. Most survey participants rated their immediate colleagues (mean score, 1.9) as more concerned than other veterinary medical professionals (mean score, 2.3) and their clients (mean score, 3.4). Fifty-nine of 67 (88%) respondents felt that antimicrobials were overprescribed at the hospital, and 32 of 69 (46%) respondents felt uncomfortable prescribing at least one class of antimicrobials (eg, carbapenems or glycopeptides) because of public health concerns.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings indicated that veterinarians at this teaching hospital were concerned about antimicrobial resistance, thought antimicrobials were overprescribed, and supported restricting use of certain antimicrobial classes in companion animals. Findings may be useful in educating future veterinarians and altering prescribing habits and antimicrobial distribution systems in veterinary hospitals.

Abstract

Objective—To determine opinions of faculty members with clinical appointments, clinical veterinarians, residents, and interns at a US veterinary teaching hospital regarding antimicrobial use and antimicrobial-resistant infections.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample—71 veterinarians.

Procedures—An online questionnaire was sent to all veterinarians with clinical service responsibilities at the North Carolina State University veterinary teaching hospital (n = 167). The survey included 23 questions regarding demographic information, educational experiences, current prescribing practices, and personal opinions related to antimicrobial selection, antimicrobial use, restrictions on antimicrobial use, and antimicrobial resistance.

Results—Of the 167 veterinarians eligible to participate, 71 (43%) responded. When respondents were asked to rate their level of concern (very concerned = 1; not concerned = 5) about antimicrobial-resistant infections, most (41/70 [59%]) assigned a score of 1, with mean score for all respondents being 1.5. Most survey participants rated their immediate colleagues (mean score, 1.9) as more concerned than other veterinary medical professionals (mean score, 2.3) and their clients (mean score, 3.4). Fifty-nine of 67 (88%) respondents felt that antimicrobials were overprescribed at the hospital, and 32 of 69 (46%) respondents felt uncomfortable prescribing at least one class of antimicrobials (eg, carbapenems or glycopeptides) because of public health concerns.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings indicated that veterinarians at this teaching hospital were concerned about antimicrobial resistance, thought antimicrobials were overprescribed, and supported restricting use of certain antimicrobial classes in companion animals. Findings may be useful in educating future veterinarians and altering prescribing habits and antimicrobial distribution systems in veterinary hospitals.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Data (PDF 34 kb)

Contributor Notes

The authors thank Kathryn Moore for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Jacob (mejacob@ncsu.edu).