Veterinary students’ knowledge and perceptions about antimicrobial stewardship and biosecurity—a national survey

Laura Hardefeldt, Torben Nielsen, Helen Crabb, James Gilkerson, Richard Squires, Jane Heller, Claire Sharp, Rowland Cobbold, Jacqueline Norris, Glenn Browning

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37 Citations (Scopus)
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A better understanding of veterinary students’ perceptions, attitudes, and knowledge about antimicrobial stewardship and biosecurity could facilitate more effective education of future veterinarians about these important issues. A multicenter cross-sectional study was performed by administering a questionnaire to veterinary students expected to graduate in 2017 or 2018 in all Australian veterinary schools. Four hundred and seventy-six of 1246 students (38%) completed the survey. Many students were unaware of the high importance of some veterinary drugs to human medicine, specifically enrofloxacin and cefovecin (59% and 47% of responses, respectively). Fewer than 10% of students would use appropriate personal protective equipment in scenarios suggestive of Q fever or psittacosis. Students expected to graduate in 2018 were more likely to select culture and susceptibility testing in companion animal cases (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.33–2.69, p < 0.001), and were more likely to appropriately avoid antimicrobials in large animal cases (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.26–2.44, p = 0.001) than those expected to graduate in 2017. However, 2018 graduates were less likely to correctly identify the importance rating of veterinary antimicrobials for human health (OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.34–0.67, p < 0.001) than 2017 graduates. Students reported having a good knowledge of antimicrobial resistance, and combating resistance, but only 34% thought pharmacology teaching was adequate and only 20% said that teaching in lectures matched clinical teaching. Efforts need to be made to harmonize preclinical and clinical teaching, and greater emphasis is needed on appropriate biosecurity and antimicrobial stewardship.
Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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