The monitoring of antimicrobial consumption in veterinary medicine is crucial to develop strategies to reduce the spread of resistance. As overall sales data only allow limited evaluations, the collection of on-farm data is preferred. The aims of this study were (1) to collect on-farm drug application data, (2) to obtain a plausibility estimate for such data, and (3) to quantify antimicrobial consumption in the studied swine population.
For that purpose, electronic drug application records from farmers from 75 conventional pig farms were reviewed. The registered drug amounts were validated against the dispensed amounts recorded by the veterinarians. The antimicrobial consumption was evaluated from 2008 to 2011 and expressed in weight of active substance(s), number of Used Daily Doses (nUDD), number of Animal Daily Doses (nADD) and number of Product-related Daily Doses (nPrDD). All results were presented on a per kg of biomass per year basis.
The data plausibility proof revealed that approximately 14% of data entries were unrealistic. Annual antimicrobial consumption was 33.9 mg/kg/year, 4.9 UDDkg/kg/year, 1.9 ADDkg/kg/year and 2.5 PrDDkg/kg/year (average). Most of the antimicrobials were applied orally (86%) and at group-level. Main therapy indications were metaphylactic/prophylactic measures (farrow-to-finish and fattening farms) or digestive tract diseases (breeding farms). After determination of a threshold value, farms with a high antimicrobial use could be detected. Orally administered antimicrobials were mostly underdosed, whereas parenterally administered antimicrobials tended to be correctly or overdosed. The proportion of the "highest priority critically important antimicrobials" (HPCIAs) was moderate (12% of nADDkg/kg/year). The main part of the HPCIAs (nADDkg/year) was applied to weaners, piglets and fattening pigs < 60 kg. Macrolides played the major role within the HPCIAs and were mainly used for digestive tract diseases.
This study demonstrated that data about the antimicrobial consumption, collected by the farmer, could successfully be evaluated. However, further improvement measures such as training courses for farmers and veterinarians, as well as optimisations of the system´s software are necessary. The very informative data give us valuable information about the antimicrobial consumption in animal husbandry in general, the dosage accurateness, the therapy indications for antimicrobial prescription and the preferred active ingredients. In addition, this work underlines the importance and the high influence of the chosen unit of measurement on the results.
Antimicrobial consumption / Antimicrobial resistance / Pig / Daily Dose / Drug application data / Critically important antimicrobials