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Antibiotics: "Handle with care"

Antibiotic resistance is a natural biological phenomenon caused by genetic mutations they face the bacteria. However, excessive use and / or abuse of these agents in veterinary medicine, as well as in agriculture, it can be considered one of the causes of the development and spread of microorganisms resistant to their action and, therefore, their loss of effectiveness.

A rational and responsible use of antibiotics is the basis of retaining the current levels of diffusion and minimizing risks to human and animal health arising from this phenomenon.

The last Eurobarometer survey conducted by the European Commission on the phenomenon of resistance to antibiotics and, more generally, antimicrobial describes a general knowledge of the still rather limited phenomenon. In particular, less than half of European respondents (43%) know that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses (this percentage drops to 28% in Italian) and as regards the veterinary field, less than 40% of respondents were aware that the use of antibiotics to promote growth in animals is prohibited in the European Union since 2006.

The European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18 November) and World Antibiotic Awareness Week (14-20 November 2016) represent initiatives aimed at increasing the knowledge and awareness of the phenomenon of antimicrobial resistance, the risks arising from it and the prudent use.

These informative and educational campaigns are aimed at the general public, to the owners of the animals, even pets, and industry professionals.

For the occasion, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has developed specific communication tools:

key posts

Antibiotics are essential to protect human and animal health and animal welfare
Their excessive or improper use can result in the emergence of bacteria resistant to treatment with antibiotics. This phenomenon seriously endanger disease control worldwide
Ensuring a responsible and prudent use of these precious drugs, through the application of intergovernmental OIE standards, together we can continue to preserve their effectiveness, through coordinated actions between the areas of public health, animal health and the environment
Veterinarians are part of the solution
communication tools
mini video clips, distinct roles and responsibilities in the containment of antibiotic resistance.