Antibiograms as one-health tools for antimicrobial stewardship: California’s experience with livestock antibiogram development
Antibiograms are collections of antimicrobial susceptibility data for a particular bacterial organism and host species. Antibiograms are important tools for antimicrobial stewardship, as they may be used to guide empiric antimicrobial therapy and assess trends in antimicrobial resistance, maximizing treatment success and preserving the efficacy of currently available pharmaceuticals. Targeted use of antimicrobials is critically important to minimize the spread of antimicrobial resistance, which may be conveyed between animals and humans directly but may also be spread through the environment and ecological niches, such as soil, water, and wildlife reservoirs. To effectively utilize antibiograms as part of a comprehensive antimicrobial stewardship plan, veterinarians need to know data characteristics, including the source population, body site (when possible), and number of isolates included, in addition to the animal species and bacterial organisms for which each breakpoint was developed. Although widely used in human health systems, antibiograms are not often available in veterinary medicine. This paper describes antibiogram creation and use, discusses antibiogram development by US veterinary diagnostic laboratories, and shares California’s process to create and promote livestock antibiograms. The companion Currents in One Health article by Burbick et al, AJVR, September 2023, addresses the benefits and challenges associated with developing veterinary antibiograms.
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