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22-12-2007 - Stakeholders meeting on critically important antimicrobials “There is a need for an integrated strategy for
animal health and human health” regarding
critically important antimicrobials and the
development of resistance against these drugs.
This was the main conclusion of the stakeholder
meeting held in Rome on 26 November, on the
eve of the joint FAO/WHO/OIE7 Expert
Consultation on Critically Important
Antimicrobials.
“Risk management measures should be based on
risk assessment”, stressed Essedine Boutrif
(FAO), who chaired the meeting, while measures
should only be taken after impact assessment on
animal and human health. The stakeholders also
identified a need for further data on the
development of antimicrobial resistance and on its
effect on public health world-wide, taking into
consideration that “transmission of antimicrobial
resistance can go both ways”, from animals to
people and vice versa. Furthermore, animal
husbandry practices should be taken into account
for a better understanding of the development of
antimicrobial resistance in veterinary medicine.
The veterinary profession was represented by
Herbert Schneider (Past-President World
Veterinary Association and Chair of the OIE ad
hoc group for antimicrobial resistance) and Jan
Vaarten (FVE). They emphasised the need for a
broad range of veterinary products and stressed
the role of the veterinary profession in the prudent
use of veterinary medicinal products. They
recommended co-ordinated programs to educate
human and animal health professionals in this
field. Monitoring and surveillance programs and
further research on the mechanisms of
antimicrobial resistance are basic elements for a
rational and practical strategy.
The Expert consultation (26-30 November)
considered the WHO and OIE lists of critically
important antimicrobials in order to find an
appropriate balance between animal health needs
and public health considerations, taking into
account the overlap of the two lists. OIE, through
its ad hoc Group on antimicrobial resistance, had
organised a world-wide consultation and issued a
list of antimicrobials of veterinary importance,
adopted by the OIE General Session last May.

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