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The AVMA's definitions of antimicrobial uses for prevention, control, and treatment of disease

David R. Smith DVM, PhD1, Patricia S. Gaunt DVM, PhD2, Paul J. Plummer DVM, PhD3, Hector M. Cervantes DVM, MS4, Peter Davies BVSc, PhD5, Virginia R. Fajt DVM, PhD6, Erin Frey DVM, MPH7, Michele T. Jay-Russell DVM, MPVM, PhD8, Terry W. Lehenbauer DVM, MPVM, PhD9, Mark G. Papich DVM, MS10, Tina M. Parker DVM, MScPH11, Erin C. Phipps DVM, MPH12, Joni M. Scheftel DVM, MPH13, Lauren V. Schnabel DVM, PhD14, Randall S. Singer DVM, PhD15, Janet E. Whaley DVM16, Jennifer K. Wishnie DVM, MSc, MPH17, Lindsay R. Wright DVM18, and Michael Costin DVM, MBA19
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  • 1 1(representing American Association of Bovine Practitioners), Starkville, Miss.
  • | 2 2(representing American Association of Fish Veterinarians), Stoneville, Miss.
  • | 3 3(representing American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners), Boone, Iowa.
  • | 4 4(representing American Association of Avian Pathologists), Watkinsville, Ga.
  • | 5 5(representing American Association of Swine Veterinarians), Saint Paul, Minn.
  • | 6 6(representing American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners), College Station, Tex.
  • | 7 7(representing American Animal Hospital Association), Raleigh, NC.
  • | 8 8(representing American Association of Food Safety and Public Health Veterinarians), Davis, Calif.
  • | 9 9(representing American Association of Bovine Practitioners), Tulare, Calif.
  • | 10 10(representing American Association of Equine Practitioners), Raleigh, NC.
  • | 11 11(at-large member), Gaithersburg, Md.
  • | 12 12(at-large member), Albuquerque, NM.
  • | 13 13(representing American Association of Food Safety and Public Health Veterinarians), Mayer, Minn.
  • | 14 14(representing American Association of Equine Practitioners), Holly Springs, NC.
  • | 15 15(representing American Association of Avian Pathologists), Saint Paul, Minn.
  • | 16 16(representing American Association of Fish Veterinarians), Brookeville, Md.
  • | 17 17(representing American Association of Swine Veterinarians), San Luis Obispo, Calif.
  • | 18 18(representing American Animal Hospital Association), Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • | 19 19(AVMA staff consultant to the committee), Schaumburg, Ill.

Abstract

Recent state and federal legislative actions and current recommendations from the World Health Organization seem to suggest that, when it comes to antimicrobial stewardship, use of antimicrobials for prevention, control, or treatment of disease can be ranked in order of appropriateness, which in turn has led, in some instances, to attempts to limit or specifically oppose the routine use of medically important antimicrobials for prevention of disease. In contrast, the AVMA Committee on Antimicrobials believes that attempts to evaluate the degree of antimicrobial stewardship on the basis of therapeutic intent are misguided and that use of antimicrobials for prevention, control, or treatment of disease may comply with the principles of antimicrobial stewardship. It is important that veterinarians and animal caretakers are clear about the reason they may be administering antimicrobials to animals in their care. Concise definitions of prevention, control, and treatment of individuals and populations are necessary to avoid confusion and to help veterinarians clearly communicate their intentions when prescribing or recommending antimicrobial use.

Abstract

Recent state and federal legislative actions and current recommendations from the World Health Organization seem to suggest that, when it comes to antimicrobial stewardship, use of antimicrobials for prevention, control, or treatment of disease can be ranked in order of appropriateness, which in turn has led, in some instances, to attempts to limit or specifically oppose the routine use of medically important antimicrobials for prevention of disease. In contrast, the AVMA Committee on Antimicrobials believes that attempts to evaluate the degree of antimicrobial stewardship on the basis of therapeutic intent are misguided and that use of antimicrobials for prevention, control, or treatment of disease may comply with the principles of antimicrobial stewardship. It is important that veterinarians and animal caretakers are clear about the reason they may be administering antimicrobials to animals in their care. Concise definitions of prevention, control, and treatment of individuals and populations are necessary to avoid confusion and to help veterinarians clearly communicate their intentions when prescribing or recommending antimicrobial use.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Smith (david.smith@msstate.edu).