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The Community Summary Report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from animals and food in the European Union in 2004-2007

EFSA Journal 2010; 8(4):1309[306 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1309
European Food Safety Authority Acknowledgment EFSA wishes to thank the members of the Task Force on Zoonoses Data Collection that endorsed and reviewed this report: Andrea Ammon, Marta Bedriova, Veronica Cibin, Susan Chircop, Georgi Chobanov, Jürg Danuser, Kris De Smet, Matthias Hartung, Birgitte Helwigh, Merete Hofshagen, Simona Iannetti, Sarolta Idei, Patrícia Inácio, Eva Kukk, Elina Lahti, Lesley Larkin, Peter Much, Edith Nagy, Iona Neghirla, Lisa O’Connor, Rob Van Oosterom, Jacek Osek, Manca Pavšič, Christodoulos Pipis, Saara Raulo, Tatiana Ribakova, Jose Luis Saez Llorente, Julien Santolini, Petr Šatrán, Snieguole Sceponaviciene, Joseph Schon, Ana María Troncoso González, Kilian Unger, Luc Vanholme, Dimitris Vourvidis. Also the contributions of Hanne-Dorthe Emborg, Antonio Vieira and Frank Aarestrup, as well as EFSA’s staff members: Pierre-Alexandre Belœil and Elena Mazzolini, for the support provided to this EFSA scientific output are gratefully acknowledged. Contact zoonoses@efsa.europa.eu
Type: Scientific Report of EFSA On request from: EFSA Question number: EFSA-Q-2008-673 Approved: 28 February 2010 Published: 27 April 2010 Last updated: 13 October 2010. This version replaces the previous one/s. Affiliation: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Abstract

Zoonoses are infections that are transmissible between animals and humans. Zoonotic bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobials are of special concern since they might compromise the effective treatment of infections in humans. During 2004-2007, 26 European Union Member States and two other countries submitted information on the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria originating from animals and food to the European Commission and to the European Food Safety Authority. Quantitative and qualitative data on the antimicrobial resistance was reported regarding Salmonella, Campylobacter, indicator Escherichia coli and indicator enterococci isolates from poultry, pigs and cattle as well as from meat. The quantitative data was analysed by using epidemiological cutoff values defining the resistance. Resistance to antimicrobials was commonly found among the isolates tested. For some antimicrobials, large differences in the occurrence of resistance were observed between Member States. At Member State level the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance over time remained in most cases relatively stable. Some Member States reported a high occurrence of fluoroquinolone resistance in Salmonella isolates from poultry and in Campylobacter isolates from poultry, pigs and cattle as well as from meat. This is of concern, since fluoroquinolones are defined as critically important antimicrobials in human medicine. Some Member States also reported resistance to third generation cephalosporins and macrolides, which are also antimicrobial groups of critical importance in human medicine.

© European Food Safety Authority,2010

Summary

This scientific output, published 13 October 2010, replaces the earlier version published on 27 May 2010.

Zoonoses are infections and diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans. Infection in humans can be acquired directly from animals, or through the ingestion of contaminated foodstuffs. Severity of zoonotic diseases in humans varies from mild symptoms to life-threatening conditions. Zoonotic bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobials are of special concern since they might compromise the effective treatment of infections in humans. In order to follow the occurrence of antimicrobial resistant zoonotic bacteria in animals and food, information is collected and analysed from all European Union Member States.

During the years 2004 to 2007, 26 Member States submitted information on the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria originating from poultry, pigs and cattle as well as from meat to the European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In addition, Norway and Switzerland provided information for the report. The reported information covered resistance to 51 antimicrobial substances. Assisted by its contractor, the Technical University of Denmark, EFSA analysed the data, the results of which are published in this Community Summary Report. Information on antimicrobial resistance was reported regarding Salmonella, Campylobacter, indicator (commensal) Escherichia coli and indicator (commensal) enterococci isolates from animals and food.

The Member States reported both quantitative and qualitative data on antimicrobial resistance and both types of data is included in the report giving priority to quantitative data. A special effort was made to analyse the quantitative information reported on antimicrobial resistance. These data, expressed either as Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations or as disk inhibition zones, were interpreted using epidemiological cut-off values defining the resistance. This makes the data more comparable between reporting countries. The number of Member States reporting quantitative data on antimicrobial resistance increased from 18 Member States in 2004 to 21 Member States in 2006.

Resistance to antimicrobials was commonly found among the Salmonella, Campylobacter and the indicator E.coli and enterococci isolates from animals and food in the EU. For some tested antimicrobials, large differences in the occurrence of resistance over time were observed between Member States. These observations may reflect real differences in resistance situations in countries, but may also be partly due to differences in the monitoring and reporting systems in place and in the case of Salmonella, due to serovars present in the country. At Member State level the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance over time remained, in most cases, relatively stable over the reporting years. However, some decreases and increases in resistance were observed.

The proportion of Salmonella and E. coli isolates resistant to ampicillin, sulfonamide and tetracycline varied between 5% and 68% among the isolates from poultry, pigs and cattle in the reporting Member State group. Some Member States reported a high occurrence of fluoroquinolone resistance in Salmonella isolates from poultry and in Campylobacter isolates from poultry, pigs and cattle as well as from meat. At Member State group level these resistance levels varied from 5% to 38% and from 20% to 64% for the Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates, respectively, during the years 2004 to 2007. This is of concern, since fluoroquinolones are defined as critically important antimicrobials in human medicine. Some Member States also reported resistance to third generation cephalosporins and macrolides, which are also antimicrobial groups of critical importance in human medicine.

The occurrence of resistance to tetracycline, ampicillin and sulphonamide in Salmonella isolates from fowl was at a lower level than in Salmonella isolates from pigs and cattle, whereas quinolone resistance levels were higher in Salmonella isolates from fowl.

In indicator E. coli isolates from fowl and pigs, large variations in the reported resistance levels were observed between Member States. In cattle, the occurrence of resistant E. coli isolates was lower compared to fowl and pigs. Vancomycin resistance was still reported in some enterococci isolates from fowl, pigs and cattle even though avoparcin, a similar substance used in animals, had already been banned in 1997.

Keywords

Antimicrobial resistance, food, animals, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, enterococci