Estimating antimicrobial usage based on sales to beef and dairy farms from UK veterinary practices

RW Humphry*, MK Henry, A Reeves, Giles T. Innocent, C Correia-Gomes, R Smith, CS Mason, GJ Gunn, Sue Tongue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Accurate estimation of antimicrobial use (AMU) is important
in assessing reduction of agricultural AMU. This cross-sectional study aimed
to evaluate several approaches for estimating AMU at the herd level and to
report on AMU for beef and dairy farms in Scotland.
Methods: Pharmaceutical sales data for 75 cattle herds (2011–2015) were
screened for antimicrobial products and aggregated by herd and year. Several
denominators for usage estimates were calculated and compared for their
suitability at the herd level.
Results: Themedian totalmass of active ingredient sold per kg of bovine livestock
was 9.5 mg/kg for beef herds and 14.3mg/kg for dairy herds. The ‘highest
priority critically important’ antimicrobials (HPCIA) were by total mass
of active ingredient, 10.6% of all sales; by total defined daily dose veterinary
(DDDVet), 29.8% and by DCDvet, 20.0%. These are the first estimates of AMU
for beef cattle in the UK, and for cattle of any kind in Scotland.
Estimates of herd-level usage based on population correction unit (PCU)were
sensitive to low values for PCU for specific herd-years due to their demographic
composition.
Conclusion: Pharmaceutical sales data can provide useful estimates of AMU,
but estimating usage per PCU is not appropriate for comparing groups of cattle
with different demographic compositions or for setting herd-level targets.
Total mass of active ingredient per kilogram of livestock is more stable and
hence suitable than PCU-basedmethods for assessing AMU at the herd level.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalThe Veterinary Record
Volume189
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the vet practice, which chooses to remain anonymous, and which participated in this study by sharing anonymised sales data and engaging in ongoing discussions regarding interpretation of data. We thank Joanna Baughan for administrative support and looking up of parameters (e.g. DDDvet) to enable the data processing. Thank you to Robin Hall and Julie Henderson for advice regarding AMU in dairy systems. Access to herd demographic data was provided by the Scottish Government's Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks (EPIC) via the use of the EPIC Data Repository. This work was funded by the Scottish Government within the RESAS 2011-2016 research programme and the Strategic Research Programme 2016 - 2021, Work Package 2.2: Livestock Production, Health, Welfare and Disease control as part of Research Deliverable 2.2.2 (?Evaluation of Livestock Health?).

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Scottish Government within the RESAS 2011‐2016 research programme and the Strategic Research Programme 2016 ‐ 2021, Work Package 2.2: Livestock Production, Health, Welfare and Disease control as part of Research Deliverable 2.2.2 (“Evaluation of Livestock Health”).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Veterinary Record published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Veterinary Association

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