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Quantification of antimicrobial usage (AMU) is crucial to measure the effect of intervention programs, to determine associations between usage and resistance, to compare populations, and for benchmarking purposes. The primary objective of the study was to describe quantitatively the AMU on Quebec dairy farms over 1 yr: (1) the total AMU, (2) the AMU per administration route (intramammary, injectable, oral, intrauterine), and (3) the AMU per antimicrobial class and according to the categorizations of Health Canada and the World Health Organization. The secondary objective was to assess the effect of several characteristics (herd size, level of milk production, and incidence rate of common infectious diseases) on AMU rate. The AMU data were obtained for 101 dairy farms randomly selected in 3 important Quebec dairy regions by collecting and recording all empty drug packaging and invoices for medicated feed (spring 2017 to spring 2018). The AMU rate was reported in number of Canadian defined course doses for cattle per 100 cow-years. The average herd size was 67 cows per farm, and 2/101 farms were certified organic. Overall, an estimated mean of 537 Canadian defined course doses for cattle/100 cow-years was observed. The intramammary route during lactation was the most frequently observed, followed, in decreasing order of usage, by oral route in the feed, intramammary route at drying-off, and injectable route. Oral (other than in animal feed) and intrauterine formulations were infrequently collected from the garbage cans. The 5 most frequently observed antimicrobial classes were, by decreasing order of usage, ionophores, penicillins, aminocoumarins, aminoglycosides, and polymyxins. Highest priority critically important antimicrobials as defined by the World Health Organization were mainly collected from intramammary formulations during lactation followed by injectable and drying-off intramammary formulations. The herd size was positively associated with the total AMU rate but not with the usage rate of highest priority critically important antimicrobials. Incidence of diseases along with preventive use of antimicrobials (drying-off and medicated feed with antimicrobials) explained 48% of the variance in total AMU rate. Copyright © 2021 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


H Lardé, S Dufour, M Archambault, J Massé, J-P Roy, D Francoz. An observational cohort study on antimicrobial usage on dairy farms in Quebec, Canada. Journal of dairy science. 2021 Feb;104(2):1864-1880

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PMID: 33272584

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