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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 2008

EFSA Journal 2010; 8(7):1658[261 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1658
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 Beloeil, Elena Mazzolini, Francesca Riolo and Kenneth Mulligan, for the support provided to this EFSA scientific output is gratefully acknowledged. Contact zoonoses@efsa.europa.eu
Type: Scientific Report of EFSA On request from: European Commission Question number: EFSA-Q-2009-00694 Approved: 15 June 2010 Published: 07 July 2010 Last updated: 15 December 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. For the year 2008, 25 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 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 resistance. Resistance to commonly used antimicrobials, such as tetracycline, ampicillin and sulfonamides were frequently found among the isolates tested. For some antimicrobials, large differences in the occurrence of resistance were observed between Member States. The reported high occurrence of fluoroquinolone resistance in Salmonella isolates from poultry and in Campylobacter isolates from poultry, pigs and cattle as well as from broiler meat 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 15 December 2010, replaces the earlier version published on 7 July 2010[1]

Zoonoses are infections and diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans. The infection can be acquired directly from animals, or through the ingestion of contaminated foodstuffs. The severity of these diseases in humans can vary from mild symptoms to life-threatening conditions. The 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 resistance in zoonotic bacteria isolated from animals and food, information is collected and analysed from all European Union Member States.

In 2008, 25 Member States submitted information on the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria to the European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority. In addition, two countries that were not European Union Member States provided information for the report. Assisted by its contractor, the Technical University of Denmark, the European Food Safety Authority analysed all the data, the results of which are published in this Community Summary Report. Information on antimicrobial resistance was reported regarding Salmonella, Campylobacter, indicator Escherichia coli, and indicator enterococci isolates from animals and food. The quantitative data on antimicrobial resistance were interpreted using harmonised epidemiological cut-off values defining the resistant isolates. This makes the data more comparable between reporting countries.

Resistance to antimicrobials was commonly found among Salmonella, Campylobacter, and indicator E. coli and enterococci isolates from animals and food in the EU. For many tested antimicrobials, large differences in the occurrence of resistance were observed between the Member States.

Among Salmonella isolates, resistance to the commonly used antimicrobials of tetracycline, ampicillin and sulfonamide were frequently reported, and the proportion of resistant isolates in animals varied between 13%-47% in the reporting MS group. The resistance levels were higher in isolates from pigs and cattle compared to isolates from fowl. However, resistance to ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid was highest among Salmonella isolates from Gallus gallus where it reached 18%-19%, at reporting MS group level.

Antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter isolates was more common than in Salmonella isolates from food and animals. Resistance to ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid varied between 34%-62% in the reporting MS group, and were highest among Campylobacter isolates from Gallus gallus and broiler meat.

Within indicator E. coli isolates, resistance to tetracycline, ampicillin and sulfonamide were common and reported resistance levels ranged from 18% to 55% in the reporting MS group. Resistance levels were lowest among E. coli isolates from cattle. Resistance to ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid in E. coli isolates varied between 3% and 46%, and were highest for isolates from fowl. Among indicator enterococci isolates, resistance to tetracycline and erythromycin were common, varying from 27% to 71%. Resistance to vancomycin was also recorded among the enterococci isolates.

The observed high ciprofloxacin resistance levels in Salmonella, Campylobacter and indicator E. coli isolates are of concern, since fluoroquinolones are critically important antimicrobials in human medicine. Other critically important antimicrobial groups in human medicine include macrolides and third generation cephalosporins and some resistance to these antimicrobial groups were also recorded among the Salmonella, Campylobacter, indicator E. coli and enterococci isolates tested.

Keywords

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