Antimicrobial stewardship verification in the Australian Chicken Meat Industry

The University of Adelaide

  • Project code: PRJ-011023

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Saturday, June 30, 2018

  • Project completion date: Monday, March 30, 2020

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 1-Improving environmental sustainability outcomes


Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is the “the multifaceted and dynamic approaches required to sustain the clinical efficacy of antimicrobials by optimizing drug use, choice, dosing, duration, and route of administration, while minimizing the emergence of resistance and other adverse effects”. The AMS model being introduced to the major chicken meat companies follows the 5R approach:
The prescribing veterinarian accepts responsibility for the decision to use an antimicrobial agent and recognises that such use can have adverse consequences beyond the recipient.
Wherever possible, means of reducing the use of antimicrobial agents should be implemented. Reduction in use may arise, for example, from enhanced infection control, biosecurity, vaccination, targeted treatment of individual animals, or reduction in the duration of treatment.
Each use of an antimicrobial agent should incorporate into the design of the dosage regimen all available information on the patient, the pathogen, the epidemiology and the antimicrobial agent to ensure the likelihood of selecting antimicrobial resistance is minimised while the likelihood of clinical efficacy is maximised.
The use of antimicrobial agents should be replaced whenever available evidence supports the efficacy and safety of an alternative whose benefit to risk balance is assessed by the prescriber as superior to the intended use of an antimicrobial agent.
Antimicrobial stewardship initiatives should be reviewed regularly and a process of continuous improvement adopted to evaluate compliance with initiatives and ensure that antimicrobial use practices set or reflect contemporary best practice.
This project will for the first time develop a verification plan that provides objective evidence of AMS programme implementation.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The University of Adelaide

Objective Summary

Objective 1: To review the key elements of the AMS plan (Responsibility, Reduction, Refinement, Replacement, Review) and develop a method of assessing implementation of each element by each company.
Objective 2: To apply a participatory approach to the development of an AMS verification programme for implementation in each of the seven (7) major chicken meat companies as either a self audit or audit by an independent third party.
Objective 3: To complete a pilot verification exercise in each company, review learnings and finalise the plan.