Calculation of Antimicrobial Use Indicators in Beef Feedlots-Effects of Choice of Metric and Standardized Values.
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The potential for antimicrobial use (AMU) to lead to the development of antimicrobial resistant bacteria is an increasingly important priority in human and veterinary medicine. Accurate AMU quantification is essential to assessing the risk of antimicrobial resistance due to AMU. The quantification of AMU in production animals can be difficult, and feedlot beef cattle present a number of unique challenges. This paper presents selected parenteral data from western Canadian beef feedlots to illustrate variations in interpretation of AMU that can arise from the use of different metrics and standards. Specific examples presented compare the number of animal daily doses calculated from a given amount of antimicrobial drug (AMD) using actual and estimated weights of cattle at exposure, dose-based to weight-based indicators representing the same amount of antimicrobial, dose-based AMU indicators using different estimated durations of effect (DOE), and AMU indicators calculated using different standard weights of cattle at exposure. Changing these factors when calculating AMU indicators can have notable influences on the results obtained. Transparency about the methods used to calculate AMU indicators is critical to ensure that comparisons of use among different populations is meaningful and accurate.