Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance
Antimicrobial resistance is far from being a new phenomenon. In fact, it has been around since antibiotics began to be used more widely to combat bacterial infections in the 1930s. "The more you expose specific bacteria to an antibiotic, the more likely it is that these bacteria will develop resistance," explains Dr. Anne-Claire Brisville, a technical services veterinary at Boehringer Ingelheim.
To be able to benefit for a long time to come from these precious tools that are antibiotics, it is imperative to take action to limit their consumption, both in human and animal medicine. This is the message hammered home by various international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health.
Closer to home, Health Canada has classified antibiotics into four categories based on their importance in human medicine. The rules were then tightened for agricultural producers across the country, who must now obtain a veterinary prescription before administering an antibiotic in the first three categories. "Antibiotics should not be used just in case, and when they are used, we must make sure it's a bacterial disease, because if it's not caused by a bacterium, it won't work anyway," Dr. Brisville says.
The situation is so worrying that antibiotic manufacturers are also getting involved. The proper use of antibiotics is part of the core values of the family company Boehringer Ingelheim, which seeks to improve human and animal health, while preserving resources and planning for future generations. How do we do this?
1. In Canada, all of the company's antibiotics are Category 2 or 3
A new Quebec regulation prevents producers from using category 1 antibiotics for preventive purposes.
2. The company has set up an assistance program to encourage milk cultures
The company thus supports the diagnosis. "Our goal is to find out which bacteria is involved so that we can adapt the treatment as effectively as possible," says Dr. Anne-Claire Brisville, MV.
3. Its innovative solutions make it possible to act in disease prevention
"Prevention is one of the pillars of Boehringer Ingelheim. We fundamentally believe in it and it works. It's through vaccines and other innovative solutions, including Lockout, our teat sealant. It's one of our newest products on the market, and the goal is to provide our dairy farmers with an additional tool to help them reduce the risk of mastitis and, at the same time, the need for antibiotics."