AVMA Report Details Antimicrobial Resistance Impact In Cattle

Research results enabled the scientists to develop an easy-to-reference, host-specific summary detailing pathogens of concern for cattle, followed by details about each pathogen and its resistance profile. ( AVMA )

A new report. Antimicrobial Resistant Pathogens Affecting Animal Health in the United States, is now available from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

It is the first report highlighting the important role veterinarians play as part of the overall One Health approach to combating antimicrobial resistance through stewardship.

The report provides detailed information on the impact of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria on 11 different animal species, including cattle. An easy-to-reference, host-specific summary details pathogens of concern for cattle, followed by details about each pathogen and its resistance profile.

Bacteria responsible for endemic cattle diseases in the United States, such as bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK or “pink eye”) or bovine respiratory disease, are developing resistance to multiple available antibiotics, according to the report. Difficult-to-treat infections have significant impacts on animal health and welfare, as well as long-lasting economic consequences for cattle producers.

“Unfortunately, we know that not all veterinarians have access to diagnostic laboratories and are often unable to quickly identify what pathogen is making their patient sick, which creates a challenge when making therapy decisions,” said Dr. Paul Plummer, one of the lead authors of the report, in a prepared statement. “This report serves as a practical reference guide for veterinarians to use when making stewardship decisions for their patients and makes critical information about antimicrobial resistance universally available. We hope that the expertise of the technical committees that were consulted in the creation of this report helps bring greater understanding of the overall resistance landscape and helps practitioners with antimicrobial stewardship decisions.”

Antimicrobial resistance presents a growing challenge for veterinarians and is a global One Health issue. Slowing and limiting the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance requires widespread engagement from across the One Health spectrum, especially among leaders in veterinary medicine, animal owners and public health. Some of the pathogens included in the report also affect human health, reinforcing relationships among the health of animals, humans and the environment, AVMA stated in a news release.

Developed over the last year and a half by the AVMA Committee on Antimicrobials and other volunteers – a group of nearly 50 microbiologists, epidemiologists and species experts – the report examines pathogens of concern and outlines actions veterinarians and their teams, producers, breeders and animal owners can take to slow and limit the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance through stewardship. This report will serve as a baseline for continued efforts to identify and monitor bacterial pathogens that show resistance to antimicrobial therapy.

“Antimicrobials are a finite resource, so understanding patterns of antimicrobial resistance and any potential overlap with human health is critically important when making stewardship decisions,” said Dr. Douglas Kratt, AVMA president, in a prepared statement. “The AVMA is committed to the judicious therapeutic use of antimicrobials, and this report provides our members with another tool to assure good antimicrobial stewardship in their practices.”

Veterinarians who participated in developing the report for cattle included: David R. Smith, DVM, PhD, DACVPM (Epidemiology); Vickie Cooper, DVM, PhD; John Dustin Loy, DVM, PhD, DACVM; Brian Lubbers, DVM, PhD, DACVCP; and Pamela Ruegg, DVM, MPVM. Dr. Smith represented the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

For additional resources and information about the AVMA’s policies on antimicrobial use and resistance, please visit the AVMA website at https://www.avma.org/antimicrobial-use-and-resistance-avma-policies