Vets, doctors and dentists across Europe have joined forces to release a new leaflet on how to use antibiotics responsibly.

The leaflet – created by the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), the Standing Committee of European Doctors (SCED) and the Council of European Dentists (CED) – gives advice under a number of headings, including:

  • Antibiotics are not always the answer
  • Keep yourself, your family and your animal healthy
  • Wash your hands often
  • Diagnostics tests might be needed; and
  • Follow the dosage and instructions.

The leaflet also contains a glossary, information on antibiotic resistance and further explanation on the “One Health” concept.

FVE president Christophe Buhot said: “Although resistant microbes are tiny, they represent a huge threat to every living organism in the world by severely compromising their health. Both humans and animals need efficient medicines to treat this kind of infections. A collaborative approach and our joint efforts would ensure antibiotics keep their efficacy now and in the future.”

SCED president Katrín Fjeldsted called the possible loss of the option to treat diseases with antibiotics a “shocking set-back” to modern medicine.

“We must realise everyone can make a personal contribution to ensuring these valuable medicines stay effective, by taking some very simple steps,” she said. “Vets, doctors and dentists have come together with some easy-to-follow advice that will help safeguard our health and that of future generations.”

CED president Wolfgang Doneus said: “According to experts and recent studies, appropriate use of antibiotics in the field of dentistry is important. Advantages and risks, as well as the threat of side effects and resistance building, must be considered. Instant diagnosis tests should be developed and widely used to offer the best treatment to patients.

“Working together, we will be able to achieve low prescribing rates and combat antimicrobial resistance.”

To download the leaflet, visit FVE’s website.

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