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Antibiotic Resistance Bacteria – an Extraordinary Challenge

The emergence of antibiotic resistance bacteria is an extraordinary public health challenge. Antibiotic resistance not only affects the human medicine and animal agriculture sectors; companion animal medicine has also seen an increase in pets diagnosed with antibiotic resistant infections. Pets have become an integral part of families and sharing the same environment with their human caretaker highlights the fact that antimicrobial resistance is a One Health issue. The One Health concept aims to better understand and address the health issues that arise from the intricate relationship between humans, animals, and the environment.

Via stewardship, veterinarians have the responsibility to preserve antibiotics by using them only when the clinical condition of the pet requires it. Furthermore, veterinarians must include the pet owner in the decision-making process regarding the need to treat a pet with an antibiotic or not. Educating clients and helping them understand how their pet’s health may not warrant the use of antibiotics is a fundamental aspect of judicious antibiotic use.

At the veterinary clinic, infection prevention protocols must be an integral component for providing excellent patient care. It is known that antimicrobial-resistant bacteria can live on environmental surfaces. Well defined cleaning and disinfection protocols, along with isolation, hand washing, and air sanitation, are the fundamental tools used in preventing the spread of resistant bacteria in the hospital environment.