U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week: Animal Health Spotlight

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U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week

November 21, 2023 

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Stewardship quiz? You betcha!

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One important way to promote antibiotic stewardship is ensuring the integrity of our food supply.


In the State of Minnesota, which Department of Agriculture Division works closely with producers, veterinarians, and industry stakeholders to communicate appropriate drug use and effective management practices

for antibiotics used in animal agriculture?


A) Finance Division

B) Dairy and Meat Inspection Division

C) Animal Welfare Division

D) Good Eats Division


The answer is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Antibiotic Awareness Week

Improve Antibiotic Use, Improve Health Equity 

Every year, CDC and partners like MDH recognize U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW) to raise awareness and share information on the importance of improving antibiotic and antifungal use. Any time antibiotics or antifungals are used—in people, animals, or plants—they can cause side effects and contribute to antimicrobial resistance. The USAAW observance is aligned with World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week (WAAW) during the same week.

This year, CDC is focusing on the connection between appropriate antibiotic and antifungal prescribing and use and health equity. Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health. Health inequities resulting from less-than-optimal antibiotic or antifungal prescribing practices may impact health outcomes and result in an increase in antimicrobial resistance or adverse events in some populations.

Join us Nov. 18 to 24 as we recognize the importance of improving antibiotic and antifungal prescribing and use, improving health equity, and slowing the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Learn how you can take action this week and the rest of the year.

Visit the MDH U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week webpage to find resources, register for webinars, subscribe for updates, and more.

Improve Antibiotic Use, Improve Health Equity
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Antibiotics in Minnesota: Animal Health Spotlight

Addressing Antibiotic Resistance in Minnesota's Animal Health: A Vital Stewardship Priority

Minnesota faces a critical challenge in the realm of antibiotic stewardship – the rising prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animal populations. Campylobacter and non-typhoidal Salmonella, responsible for a significant portion of foodborne illnesses, are increasingly demonstrating resistance to multiple antibiotic classes.

The emergence of the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) superbug in a Minnesota veterinary setting in 2022 raised alarms, as further investigation uncovered additional CRE-positive dogs in multiple locations. To safeguard both animal and human health, it is imperative that we equip veterinary professionals with the knowledge and tools to prevent, detect, and respond to such outbreaks.

The Minnesota One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative plays a crucial role in providing a collaborative platform for veterinary and public health experts to address this pressing issue, reinforcing the importance of responsible antibiotic use in the animal health sector.

Visit the Minnesota One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative webpage for more information and resources.

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National Updates: Antibiotics and Animal Health

FDA Framework for Collecting Antimicrobial Use Data

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking significant steps towards promoting responsible antibiotic use in animals. One of the recent developments is the proposal for a framework to collect and analyze antimicrobial use data from food-producing animals through a public-private partnership. This initiative is a crucial move in the direction of ensuring the responsible use of antibiotics in the animal agriculture industry.

Key highlights:

  • FDA is inviting public comments on the report, outlining the framework.
  • The framework aims to gather data on antibiotic usage in food-producing animals.
  • This initiative promotes transparency and data-driven decision-making in animal health.

Learn more:

FDA Five-Year Plan 2024-2028: Supporting Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Settings

The FDA's Five-Year Plan, titled "Supporting Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Settings, Goals for Fiscal Years 2024-2028," is a roadmap to promote responsible antibiotic use in veterinary settings. This plan aligns with the FDA's three main veterinary stewardship goals and kicked off on Oct. 1, 2023.

Key goals:

  1. Aligning antimicrobial drug product use with the principles of antimicrobial stewardship.
  2. Fostering stewardship of antimicrobials in veterinary settings.
  3. Enhancing monitoring of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial drug use in animals.

Learn more:

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Stories of Antibiotic Use and Resistance

Lori Nicholson and Mr. Beebs

Pet owner and advocate for companion animal health

Lori Nicholson & Mr. Beebs

What are your experiences with antibiotics?

Antibiotics are often prescribed by veterinarians without the benefit of a culture and sensitivity report [laboratory test to determine what type of bacteria is causing the infection and what antibiotics would work best to treat the infection]. Sometimes that approach works but when it doesn’t, the situation becomes exponentially more dangerous.

What are your experiences with antibiotic resistance?

My dog, Mr. Beebs, had orthopedic surgery and was sent home with broad-spectrum antibiotics. Two weeks later, a fistula opened in his leg. He was re-hospitalized and given another round of the same antibiotics. Weeks later, the culture and sensitivity report came back and the organism, Enterobacter Cloacae, was resistant to all the standard antibiotics except the carbapenem drug imipenem/cilastatin, a last-line antibiotic.

Visit our Stories of Antibiotic Use and Resistance webpage for more on this and other stories. 

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Videos and Webinars

Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Initiative | College of Veterinary Medicine - University of Minnesota 

Featured webinar:

Short videos for veterinary professionals and students:

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Quiz Answer!

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B) Dairy and Meat Inspection Division

The Dairy and Meat Inspection Division (DMID) promotes antibiotic stewardship and drug residue prevention practices to avoid contamination of meat and milk products. This is done by working closely with producers, veterinarians, and industry stakeholders to communicate appropriate drug use and effective management practices for antibiotics used in animal agriculture. DMID supports antibiotic stewardship through both regulatory and educational (non-regulatory) activities. 

Learn more at Minnesota Department of Agriculture: Antibiotic Stewardship.

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