Antibiotic prescription patterns and non-clinical factors influencing antibiotic use by Ecuadorian veterinarians working on cattle and poultry farms: A cross-sectional study

Evelyn Pamela Martínez*, Sarah E. Golding, Joost van Rosmalen, Christian Vinueza-Burgos, Annelies Verbon, Gerdien van Schaik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Understanding antibiotic prescription patterns and non-clinical factors influencing antibiotic use is essential for implementing strategies to promote appropriate antibiotic use. There is, however, limited research exploring these issues with Ecuadorian veterinarians. Therefore, a questionnaire was developed and applied cross-sectionally to veterinarians (n = 173) from two professional organizations to explore the antibiotic prescription patterns and non-clinical factors (e.g., attitudes and perceptions) influencing antibiotic use, and to identify strategies to reduce antibiotic use. The response rate was 78.4%. Responses were compared between veterinarians working mainly on cattle and poultry farms using Mann-Whitney U tests. The most important attitudes, beliefs and perceptions towards antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antibiotic use were identified with the Relative Importance Index (RII). Veterinarians showed high awareness of AMR and its implications for public health, as well as the necessity of reducing antibiotic use. However, some veterinarians appear to underestimate the potential contribution of veterinary antibiotic use on AMR in humans. Veterinarians self-reported high prescription (> 20%) of antibiotics for cattle and poultry that are critically important for human medicine, such as 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins, polymyxins and quinolones. Further, antibiotic therapy was not tailored to disease type. Cattle and poultry veterinarians perceived similar barriers to increasing antibiotic stewardship including: poor biosecurity measures, animal confinement, low feed quality, farmers’ behaviors (such as stopping antibiotic treatment, storing antibiotics on farms, buying antibiotics in veterinary supply stores), and sales agents’ roles as non-professional prescribers of antibiotics. Overall, veterinarians were broadly supportive (>90%) of most strategies to promote appropriate antibiotic use. They saw more merit in improving biosecurity of farms and implementing educational programs for farmers and veterinarians. This study provides insight into the complexity of antibiotic use on Ecuadorian farms and the need for holistic strategies in a One Health context, to achieve antibiotic stewardship.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105858
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume213
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding:
First author has received an ongoing scholarship from the Central
University of Ecuador to follow a PhD program at Erasmus Medical
Center. Second author contributed time on an honorary basis. Other
authors were supported by internal funding.


Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors

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