The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recently published its Fifth OIE Annual Report on Antimicrobial Agents Intended for Use in Animals. As a result of the tremendous efforts of OIE Members, as well as non-members, the report meets the global need to better understand the situation of antimicrobial use in the animal sector and better interpret antimicrobial resistance.

The Fifth Report provides details on the global use of antimicrobial agents adjusted for animal biomass for 2017 and interprets the overall findings of the fifth annual data collection on the use of antimicrobial agents in animals, including a global and regional analyses and for the first-time trends in antimicrobial quantities intended for use over time.

Global trends from 2015 to 2017

Debuting in the Fifth Report, the trend from 2015 to 2017 on global antimicrobial use data is included in the report. This new section presents the analysis of data from 69 countries on the global mg/kg intended for use and by antimicrobial classes. Globally, an overall decrease in antimicrobial quantities was observed with a 34% decrease of mg/kg from 2015 to 2017, indicating a positive trend over time in more prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials in the animal health sector.

This is an important addition to the annual database analysis because it highlights OIE members’ and non-members’ continued dedication to robust data collection and the OIE’s commitment to continuing the evaluation of trends over time to improve the OIE’s understanding of antimicrobial use and promotes behavior change to ensure prudent and responsible use.

Five years of data collection

The Fifth Report marks five years of close collaboration between the OIE and its members and non-members to collect increasingly detailed data. A record high total of 160 countries provided data to the database, including 133 countries who provided quantitative data of increasingly detailed quality. The fifth year of data collection also marks the largest number of countries who were able to provide data using Reporting Option 3, which is the most detailed level of data on quantities of antimicrobial agents.

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This progress demonstrates the continuously increased engagement from countries participating in the data collection, and capability to collect and measure national trends. Countries have improved their methodology for calculating antimicrobial quantities facilitated through an Excel Calculation Tool developed to overcome technical barriers. This progress contributes to the building of a robust OIE database on antimicrobial agents intended for use in animals.

Future developments

The OIE is currently developing an interactive and automated IT system, which will provide countries with 24/7 access to review, analyze and use their national data, while allowing the OIE to meet its commitment to providing global data analyses to the public.

Such information may assist members in risk management to evaluate the effectiveness of their regulations and efforts to optimise antimicrobial use and mitigation strategies, in accordance with Chapter 6.9. of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code and Chapter 6.3. of the Aquatic Animal Health Code and the recommendations of the OIE List of Antimicrobial Agents of Veterinary Importance.

The OIE looks forward to continuing to work with its members and non-members to strengthen national capacity to monitor and regulate the use of antimicrobials and improve global awareness on antimicrobial resistance through the OIE AMU global database.

This work is made possible with the financial assistance of the U.K. Government-funded Fleming Fund.