Application developed by U of C to help veterinarians prescribe antibiotics

Veterinary smartphone app will help fight antimicrobial resistance in animals

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University of Calgary researchers hope a new smartphone app they helped develop will improve veterinary care for animals across the country.

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The app will help animal health professionals fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals. AMR is a defense that bacteria, viruses, and parasites can build up against the drugs commonly used to treat them, making treatments less and less effective over time. It is often caused by overuse or misuse of drugs such as antibiotics. AMR is one of the top 10 global health threats facing humanity, according to the World Health Organization, and animals are susceptible to it as well.

The app is based on a similar app created for human health that helps doctors figure out which drugs and how many drugs to use for specific illnesses, which U of C researchers also helped develop. Herman Barkema, a professor in the school’s faculty of veterinary medicine, saw a similar need in the animal health world, so he helped create one.

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Barkema and a team of researchers from the University of California developed the app in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Veterinarians and the Veterinarian Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative. Barkema said the app would be particularly useful for rural vets who deal with a large number of different animal species.

“Human doctors only have one species to work on… Vets work with dogs and cats, get a ferret or a guinea pig, then go see a cow or a horse or see a llama.” said Barkema, also scientific director of the Alberta AMR One Health Consortium.

This is one of the first such apps in the field and Barkema said it will provide vets with considerations they might not have thought of without it.

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Professor Herman Barkema and Junior Research Assistant Dana Jelinski have contributed a new mobile phone app that educates vets on the optimal dosage of antibiotics for a variety of species / conditions with the aim of reducing antimicrobial resistance ( RAM).
Professor Herman Barkema and Junior Research Assistant Dana Jelinski have contributed a new mobile phone app that educates vets on the optimal dosage of antibiotics for a variety of species / conditions with the aim of reducing antimicrobial resistance ( RAM). Photo by submitted

“One of the key measures of success will be for this initiative to take off on a global scale,” said Dr. John Conly, infectious disease specialist at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of California. “Such a platform can be used as a stepping stone for several jurisdictions around the world – a platform for others to emulate globally that facilitates optimal prescribing for antimicrobial use in animals. which are agents of critical importance to man. “

The app is available to all members of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and students. Those who are not registered with the association can email Firstline-Clinical Decisions for a download link.

mrodriguez@postmedia.com

Twitter: @michaelrdrguez

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