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An efficient cephalosporin stewardship programme in French swine production

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Fabien Verliat (Inaporc) et al., Veterinary Medecine and Science, 2021, n° 2, mars, p. 432-439

By 2010, systems set up to monitor the antimicrobial resistance of pathogenic bacteria and antimicrobial usage identified a sustained increase regarding third- and fourth-generation cephalosporin resistance in French pig production. This sector mobilised and collectively committed to responsible action in the following months. This led to a multi-professional voluntary stewardship programme that was started in 2011. A consensus of veterinary opinion led to the definition of restrictive rules on the prescription of the third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins targeted by the antimicrobial stewardship programme (ASP). All pig sector professionals, including farmers, were informed. Existing monitoring systems for usage and resistance were supplemented by data from the records of veterinarians' cephalosporin deliveries and from individual pig farm surveys investigating antimicrobial usage. The second step, from 2014, entailed regulatory measures that consolidated the programme by setting quantitative reduction objectives and specifying the terms and conditions for prescribing and dispensing a list of critical antimicrobial molecules including cephalosporins. All the data sources confirmed a significant fall of more than 90% in cephalosporin usage in the French pig production sector between 2010 and 2016. Monitoring systems recorded that the resistance of commensal and pathogenic Escherichia coli isolates also tended to decrease over the same period. The stewardship programme proved highly effective in reducing usage and containing resistance, illustrating the efficiency of a well-defined multi-professional strategy.

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