Improving infection control reduces the need for antibiotic treatment, which in turn decreases the development and spread of resistance. Health care professionals and veterinarians play an essential role in preventing the spread of infections and resistant bacteria.
Infection prevention and control programs at health care facilities are designed to prevent occurrence and spread of health care-associated infections and resistant bacteria in patients, health care workers, visitors and other persons associated with health care facilities. Coordinated approaches for early detection, management, and response to these threats are needed. Many individual initiatives can be taken, to prevent and control infection however a formally organized infection prevention and control program has greater chances for a longer lasting effect.
Measures to prevent infections, such as biosecurity measures and use of vaccines, are among the most important tools to decrease antibiotic use in the animal sector without decreasing animal health, animal welfare and productivity.
Where programs do not exist, they should be established. Where they do, they should be continuously improved and informed by improved surveillance and monitoring data.
Programs for human health should be based on the core components of infection prevention as recommended by the WHO and include basic or broad interventions that attempt to reduce rates of infections from all pathogens.The program can then be supplemented with narrow infection specific or pathogen specific interventions based on their incremental value and the needs of facility.
While there are no universal best practices for disease prevention at animal farms, in veterinary clinics or in other non-human settings, there are a number of measures that can be taken to improve infection prevention and control and reduce antibiotic use in the non-human sector.
Use the Toolbox
Under PREVENT INFECTION: Health care you will find the following:
Core components outlines the basic elements of infection prevention and control as recommended by WHO.
Set up a program describes the use of a five-step project management process to establish infection prevention and control programs in health care facilities.
Interventions provides information and resources on basic, infection specific and pathogen specific interventions for infection prevention and control.
Under PREVENT INFECTION: Non-human you will find the following:
Set up a program discusses measures to improve infection prevention at the farm and in veterinary clinics and provides resources to help in the process.
Interventions provides resources for training and education on infection prevention and control in animal, veterinary and agricultural settings.