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How are antibiotics used? What are prophylaxis (prevention), metaphylaxis (control), and therapeutic (curative) treatments?

Therapeutic or curative treatment of a sick animal or group of animals follows the diagnosis of infection and/or clinical disease in those animals. Control treatment (sometimes referred to in veterinary medicine as Metaphylaxis) is the treatment of a group of animals after the diagnosis of infection and/or clinical disease in part of the group, with the aim of preventing the spread of infectious disease to animals in close contact and at considerable risk and which may already be (sub-clinically) infected or incubating the disease. A useful comparison with human medicines would be where a child in a classroom is diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis necessitating urgent treatment of all other in-contact children. Preventive treatment (sometimes referred to as Prophylaxis) is the treatment of an animal or a group of animals, before clinical signs of infectious disease, in order to prevent the occurrence of disease or infection.