Updated: Nov 22
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is an annual event that takes place from November 18th -24th. The week raises awareness of the importance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and highlights the need for everyone to take action to prevent the spread of AMR. This year’s theme is “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together”, which emphasizes the role that everyone has to play in tackling this global problem.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death. The goal of the WAAW week is to promote initiatives that will help protect against the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant infections.
Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance in Animals
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), antimicrobial resistance (AMR) causes 700,000 deaths per year. While antimicrobial resistance is a global problem, it is one that we can all help address through individual action. As we celebrate World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, it's important to remember the key ways we can prevent antimicrobial resistance in animals.
As an animal owner, you want to do everything you can to keep your animals healthy and happy. Part of that is making sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations. This will help reduce the overall number of infections they can get, and lessen the chance of them developing antimicrobial resistance. Always work with your veterinarian to create a vaccination schedule that is right for your animal and also follow that schedule and keep your animal up-to-date on their shots.
It's also important to use antibiotics wisely. This means using them only when they're truly needed – in instances such as when an animal is sick and needs treatment. Overusing antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which is a serious problem.
You can play a role in preventing antimicrobial resistance by ensuring that your animals are raised on a healthy diet. A healthy diet helps to boost the immune system, which makes it more difficult for bacteria and other microbes to take hold and cause an infection. Additionally, a healthy diet helps to reduce stress levels, which can also make it harder for microbes to cause an infection.
Good sanitation practices are key to preventing the spread of antimicrobial resistance. By cleaning and disinfecting animal premises and equipment, you can help minimize the spread of resistance-causing bacteria. It is also important to minimize contact between sick and healthy animals to further prevent the spread of resistance.
When your animal gets sick, always take them to the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. It is also crucial to avoid giving animals leftover antibiotics from previous illnesses. By doing this, you're preventing the development of antimicrobial resistance in animals. Leftover antibiotics from previous illnesses can contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance. When animals are given these leftover antibiotics, they may develop resistance to that particular antibiotic. This resistance can then spread to other animals, making it more difficult to treat infections in the future.
Keeping your animals clean and well-groomed can help prevent the spread of AMR. This includes regular brushing, bathing, and trimming of nails and hair. By keeping your animals clean, you will help to reduce the number of bacteria that they are exposed to and help to prevent the spread of infection that may require the use of antibiotics, resulting in resistance.
This World Antimicrobial Week, take time to learn of the ways antimicrobial resistance can develop in animals. By taking steps to prevent antimicrobial resistance, we can help keep our animals healthy and ensure that the medications we rely on to treat them remain effective.