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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128

Abstract

OGWUCHE, Adah et al. Antibiotic use practices of veterinarians and para-veterinarians and the implications for antibiotic stewardship in Nigeria. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2021, vol.92, n.1, pp.1-14. ISSN 2224-9435.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v92i0.2120.

The aim of this study was to describe the antibiotic use practices of veterinarians and para-veterinarians in Nigeria. An online survey was distributed during November through December 2018 via email and phone to veterinarians and para-veterinarians to collect information on antibiotic use practices. Data were downloaded into Excel and descriptive statistics were presented and analysed. The survey was completed by 390 respondents. Almost all respondents (98.5%, 384/390) recommended the use of antibiotics to treat animal patients, and of these, 93.2% (358/384) were veterinarians and 6.8% (26/384) were para-veterinarians. Most respondents reported commonly recommending the use of oxytetracycline (82.6%, 317/384), tylosin (44.5%, 171/384) and gentamycin (43.8%, 168/384). A third (32.0%, 122/384) of respondents did not undertake antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) prior to antibiotic treatment. At least 60% of the respondents recommended the use of antibiotics for the treatment of non-bacterial pathogens, including viral, helminth and fungal pathogens. Over 55% (217/390) were not aware of government-issued guidelines on antibiotic use in animals, although of those aware, 69% (74/107) utilised the guidelines. Across all respondents, the majority believed legislation or regulation by government can influence the use of antibiotics by animal health professionals. The study highlights areas that can be targeted as part of intervention strategies to promote antimicrobial stewardship by animal health professionals in Nigeria, including the need for increased use of AST as a tool for supporting disease management, increased awareness of appropriate antibiotic use and greater dissemination of antibiotic use guidelines and enforcement of relevant regulation by government authorities.

Keywords : antibiotic; veterinarian; para-veterinarian; animal health; Nigeria; antibiotic stewardship; antimicrobial resistance.

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