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Dr. Terry Lehenbauer Appointed to Newly Created AVMA Committee on Antimicrobials

December 21, 2016

Dr. Terry Lehenbauer (DVM, MPVM, PhD, DACVPM) was officially appointed by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Board of Directors as the primary representative of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) on the newly formed AVMA Committee on Antimicrobials.

The committee will advise the AVMA Board of Directors on activities and issues to promote, protect, and advance the veterinary profession on the topic of antimicrobials. The committee will develop and recommend an overarching strategy for the veterinary profession to effectively share comprehensive recommendations and implementation strategies with legislators, regulators, the marketplace, human medical entities and other stakeholders in a One Health approach to the issue of antimicrobial resistance. Lehenbauer will serve a three year term.

Lehenbauer, director of the school’s Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare, is widely recognized for his expertise in dairy cattle herd health and production medicine with an emphasis on infectious disease epidemiology, risk management and animal health economics, especially related to bovine respiratory disease, mastitis, and antimicrobial use. In 2015, he appeared before the California Senate Committee on Agriculture to address the issue of antibiotic use in livestock and poultry, antibiotic resistance and the impact on public health.  

The spread of antibiotic-resistant infections is a growing problem for both veterinary and human medicine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated that antibiotic-resistant infections cause 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses nationwide each year. According to Lehenbauer, avoiding misuse of antimicrobials in human patients is an important area for reducing antimicrobial resistance. These misuses include unnecessary prescriptions of antimicrobials for viral infections, too frequent prescriptions of broad-spectrum antimicrobials in place of better targeted antimicrobials, and failure to complete a prescribed regimen of antimicrobial treatment. There is also growing concern about the contribution to resistance by the use of antimicrobials in animals, including food-producing animals.  California is one of the world’s primary agricultural producers in dairy and livestock.