The importance of practicing antimicrobial stewardship for both human and veterinary care is unquestionable.
Over two million infections and 35,000 deaths at a direct cost of $20B just in the United States1 alone, while the WHO publicly declared antimicrobial resistance to be a worldwide health crisis in 2014. This has not only brought a keen awareness to the worldwide public it has fostered great collaboration between multiple organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Infectious Disease Society of America (ISDA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to encourage the judicious use of antibiotics.
With support and comprehensive definition developed by the AVMA, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has actively developed a multi-year plan that outlines specific goals to ensure the safety of animal drugs including antimicrobials. Their overall effort includes a broad set of actions intended to evaluate all antimicrobial products, collaborate with key stakeholders to support stewardship of these products, and collect data on usage to monitor the effectiveness of the above actions.2
In 2015, CVM updated the veterinary feed directive (VFD) regulation to improve the efficiency of the regulatory process. This update was a critical step in facilitating the implementation of Guidance for Industry (GFI) #2133 in 2017 and by June of 2021, GFI#263 was fully implemented. While both policies are mostly focused on judicious use of antibiotics for food-producing animals, GFI #263 does include restriction of some antibiotics used for companion animals.
Looking ahead, the trend of increasing an emphasis on companion animals will continue. As outlined in CVM’s 5-year goals for supporting antimicrobial stewardship there are several intended actions planned. Three include:
1.2.3 – Develop and implement a strategy for promoting antimicrobial stewardship in companion animals.
3.1.3 – Develop a long-term strategy for implementing a functional and efficient systems for collecting antimicrobial use data in animals.
3.2.3 – Improve our understanding of antimicrobial resistance using advanced genomic technologies and bioinformatics for research surveillance.
What does this mean for veterinary hospitals and clinics? As part of a greater emphasis on antimicrobial stewardship, hospitals and clinics may not only be asked to report on antimicrobial usage but to use advanced diagnostic technologies in the process. Adopting in-clinic PCR testing not only allows for detection of pathogens and resistance markers but enables evidence-based decisions that proactively align with the One Health goals of antimicrobial stewardship.
An in-clinic PCR diagnostics testing solution
LexaGene’s MiQLab is a rapid, easy-to-use system that can detect up to 27 pathogens and antimicrobial markers from a single sample. In about 2 hours, results can be obtained without the need for specialized personnel, space, or sample preparation enabling veterinarians the ability to provide the best-in-class evidence-based care for their patients.
1 https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html 2 Supporting Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Settings: https://www.fda.gov/files/animal%20&%20veterinary/published/Supporting-Antimicrobial-Stewardship-in-Veterinary-Settings–Goals-for-Fiscal-Years-2019-2023.pdf 3 https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/cvm-gfi-213-new-animal-drugs-and-new-animal-drug-combination-products-administered-or-medicated-feed