Quantifying antimicrobial use in Dutch companion animals

Nonke E.M. Hopman, Marloes A.M. Van Dijk, Els M. Broens, Jaap A. Wagenaar, Dick J.J. Heederik, Ingeborg M. Van Geijlswijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an increasing threat, both in human and in veterinary medicine. To reduce the selection and spread of AMR, antimicrobial use (AMU) should be optimized, also in companion animals. To be able to optimize AMU, a feasible method to quantify AMU and information on current AMU are needed. Therefore, a method to quantify AMU was developed, using the number of Defined Daily Doses Animal (DDDA). This method was used to explore applied antimicrobial classes and to identify differences in prescribing patterns in time and between veterinary clinics. Antimicrobial procurement data of the years 2012-2014 were collected retrospectively from 100 Dutch veterinary clinics providing care for companion animals. The mean number of DDDAs per clinic per year decreased significantly from 2012 to 2014. A shift in used classes of antimicrobials (AMs) was seen as well, with a significant decrease in use of third choice AMs (i.e., fluoroquinolones and third generation cephalosporins). Large differences in total AMU were seen between clinics ranging from 64-fold in 2012 to 20-fold in 2014. Despite the relative low and decreasing AMU in Dutch companion animal clinics during the study, the substantial differences in antimicrobial prescribing practices between clinics suggest that there is still room for quantitative and qualitative optimization of AMU.

Original languageEnglish
Article number158
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Issue numberMay
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2019


  • Antibiotic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Companion animals
  • DDDA
  • Defined daily dose
  • Prescribing
  • Veterinary medicine


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