May 31, 2011 The Faculty of Veterinary medicine of Ghent University has launched a new web application "ABcheck." This AntiBiotic-check offers farmers, veterinarians and others interested the opportunity to calculate the antibiotic usage for a herd or farm and to compare their results with colleagues. Furthermore extended background information is available on the use of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance in animals. The ABcheck has been developed within the scope of the project "RedAB" (reduction of antibiotic use).
Check, reduce and improve
The slogan of the ABcheck gives the vision from which the website has been developed; "we need to quantify in order to be able to make a statement on antibiotic use in animals. Subsequently it is possible to give advice on rational and reduced antibiotic use" say the developers of this tool, Prof. Jeroen Dewulf, Dr. Davy Persoons and Drs. Merel Postma of the Epidemiology Unit.
Data on the amount of antibiotics used in animals in Belgium on farm level are only limited available. With this tool we would like to offer everybody who is interested the opportunity to quantify the antibiotic use for their herd and compare it with other herds.
The problems of antibiotics in veterinary medicine
Resistance against antibiotics is known for its problems in human medicine, and is mainly due to the use of antibiotics in humans itself. But also the use of antibiotics in animals is under discussion due to the increasing resistance development also seen there. This resistance development is mainly of importance to pathogenic bacteria in the animal, but can also have consequences for human health through transfer of resistant bacteria or their resistance genes from animals or animal products to humans, which gives an extra dimension to the antibiotic use in animals.
The fear exists that fewer and fewer antibiotics will be available to treat humans and/or animals adequately. Reducing antibiotic use where possible and the responsible use of the marketed products (in human as well as veterinary medicine) is seen as one of the most important action plans worldwide in the fight against rising antimicrobial resistance.
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