Image_2_Antibiotic Prescription in Veterinary Consultations in Bhutan: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study.TIFF (445.9 kB)
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Image_2_Antibiotic Prescription in Veterinary Consultations in Bhutan: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study.TIFF

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posted on 28.05.2021, 06:38 authored by Juan Pablo Villanueva-Cabezas, Karma Rinzin, Sithar Dorjee, Pema Tshewang, Ugyen Namgyel, Puspa Maya Sharma, Mark A. Stevenson, Jodie McVernon

The veterinary prescription of antibiotics in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) remains largely undocumented. In Bhutan, however, the national veterinary service keeps records of their activities and prescriptions, which offer an opportunity to establish a benchmark to assess the use of these agents in this and other LMIC. A cross-sectional retrospective study was designed and 2,266 handwritten veterinary records from 2017 were sampled from 23 animal health premises (AHPs) to estimate individual and an overall proportion of consultations that resulted in an antibiotic prescription. The frequency of antibiotic prescription per species, type of AHP, and according to WHO's AWaRe index and OIE list of priority antimicrobials were also explored. It was estimated that 31% (95% confidence interval: 29–33%; intracluster correlation: 0.03) of the veterinary consultations resulted in an antibiotic prescription. The incidence of antibiotic prescription was highest in consultations of poultry across AHP. Across species, diarrhea and wounds were frequently treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics including sulfonamides, tetracyclines, trimethoprim + sulfa, and penicillin. Between 45% and 70% antibiotics prescribed correspond to AWaRe's access group and up to 25% to AWaRe's watch group. Over 70% of antibiotics dispensed in veterinary consultations for any species correspond to the OIE's veterinary critically important antimicrobial agents. Overall, the study demonstrated positive features of veterinary antimicrobial stewardship in Bhutan, given the conservative proportion of consultation that results in this type of prescription and the type of antibiotic prescribed. Although the veterinary service closely follows the Bhutanese Standard Treatment Guidelines, the prescription of antibiotics to key species should be closely monitored. Our study suggests that further improvements of antibiotic stewardship can be achieved through standardisation of antibiotic prescription to some species, a revision of the guidelines toward reducing the prescription of antibiotics of high relevance for human medicine, and by including details of clinical investigation, use of tests, and treatment outcomes in veterinary consultation records.

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