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European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from animals and food in the European Union in 2009

EFSA Journal 2011;9(7):2154[321 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2154
European Food Safety Authority Acknowledgment EFSA and ECDC wish to thank the members of the Task Force on Zoonoses Data Collection and the Food and Waterborne Disease Network who provided the data and reviewed the report. Also, the contributions of EFSA’s staff members: Pierre-Alexandre Beloeil, Pia Makela, Maria Teresa Da Silva Felicio, Elena Mazzolini, Anca Stoicescu,Francesca Riolo and Fabrizio Abbinante; the contributions of ECDC’s staff members: Therese Westrell, Angela Lahuerta-Marin and Johanna Takkinen, and the contributions of EFSA’s contractors: the Veterinary Laboratories Agency of the United Kingdom and their staff members Christopher Teale and Lucy Snow as well as that of the peer reviewer John Threlfall for the support provided to this scientific output are gratefully acknowledged. Contact zoonoses@efsa.europa.eu
FWD@ecdc.europa.eu
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
Type: Scientific Report of EFSA On request from: EFSA Question number: EFSA-Q-2010-00113 Approved: 29 April 2011 Published: 12 July 2011 Affiliation: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Parma Italy
Abstract

The European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control have analysed the information on antimicrobial resistance among zoonotic and indicator bacteria in 2009 submitted by 25 European Union Member States. This information covers antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates from humans, food and animals, and in indicator Escherichia coli and enterococci isolates from animals and food. Data on resistance in isolates from humans were mainly interpreted using clinical breakpoints, while for isolates from animals and food resistance was interpreted using the more sensitive epidemiological cut-off values. Resistance to antimicrobials was commonly found in isolates from humans, animals and food, although disparities in the occurrences of resistance were frequently observed between Member States. High resistance levels were recorded to ampicillin, tetracyclines and sulphonamides in Salmonella isolates from human cases, while resistance to third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones, both critically important antimicrobial groups for human medicine, remained low. In Salmonella and indicator E. coli isolates from fowl, pigs, cattle and meat thereof, resistance to tetracyclines, ampicillin and sulphonamides was also commonly found, while resistance to third-generation cephalosporins was low. Moderate to high levels of ciprofloxacin (a fluoroquinolone) resistance was observed in Salmonella and indicator E. coli isolates from fowl, broiler meat and pigs. In Campylobacter isolates from human cases, resistance to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid and tetracyclines was high, while resistance to erythromycin, a critically important antimicrobial, was recorded at a low level. High resistance to ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid and tetracyclines was also observed in Campylobacter isolates from fowl, broiler meat, pigs and cattle, whereas erythromycin resistance was at lower levels. Among the indicator enterococci isolates from animals and food, resistance to tetracyclines and erythromycin was commonly detected.

© European Food Safety Authority,2011

Summary

Zoonoses are infections and diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans. 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 2009, 25 Member States submitted information on the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria to the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. In addition, three other European countries provided information. Assisted by its contractor, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in the United Kingdom, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, analysed the data, the results of which are published in this European Union Summary Report. Information on antimicrobial resistance was reported regarding Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates from human cases, food and animals, whereas data on indicator Escherichia coli and indicator enterococci isolates derived only from animals and food. Data on antimicrobial resistance in isolates from human cases were mainly interpreted by using clinical breakpoints, while the quantitative data on antimicrobial resistance in isolates from food and animals were interpreted using harmonised epidemiological cut-off values defining the microbiologically resistant isolates.

In the European Union, the occurrence of resistance in Salmonella isolates from salmonellosis cases in humans was high for ampicillin, tetracyclines and moderate for sulphonamides, whereas resistance to the critically important antimicrobials for human medicine, cefotaxime (a third-generation cephalosporin) and ciprofloxacin (fluoroquinolones) was relatively low, although for ciprofloxacin reported resistance levels were higher in countries where epidemiological cut-off values were used. There was a high level of resistance to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid and tetracyclines among Campylobacter isolates from human cases, while relatively low resistance was recorded to the clinically most important antimicrobial, erythromycin.

Resistance to antimicrobials was commonly found in isolates of Salmonella, Campylobacter and indicator E. coli and enterococci from animals and food in the European Union.

The high proportions of Salmonella, Campylobacter and indicator E. coli isolates exhibiting resistance to ciprofloxacin are of concern. In food and animal isolates, the highest occurrence of resistance to ciprofloxacin was noted in Salmonella from fowl (Gallus gallus) and broiler meat, where 18 % to 22 % of the isolates were found resistant in the reporting Member States group. Among the indicator E. coli isolates, moderate to high levels of ciprofloxacin resistance was observed in isolates from Gallus gallus and pigs, at levels of 47 % and 12 %, respectively. Furthermore, high resistance to fluoroquinolones was commonly observed in Campylobacter isolates from Gallus gallus and broiler meat, as well as from pigs and cattle at levels of 33 % to 78 %.

Resistance to third-generation cephalosporins was observed in Salmonella and indicator Escherichia coli isolates from Gallus gallus, pigs, cattle and meat derived from broilers and pigs at very low or low levels varying from 0.4 % to 9 %. Resistance to erythromycin was detected in Campylobacter isolates from Gallus gallus, poultry meat and pigs at levels of 0.3 % to 35 %.

Among Salmonella isolates from meat and animals, resistance to tetracyclines, ampicillin and sulphonamides was reported at levels of 12 % to 60 % and it was higher in isolates from pigs and cattle compared to isolates from Gallus gallus. In contrast, resistance to ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid was higher in Salmonella isolates from Gallus gallus and broiler meat.

In isolates of Campylobacter from meat and animals, resistance was commonly detected to ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid and tetracyclines at levels of 33 % to 78 %, while much lower levels were reported to erythromycin and gentamicin.

For indicator E. coli from meat and animals, resistance to tetracyclines, ampicillin and sulphonamides was commonly reported at levels of 20 % to 64 %. In general, resistance levels were lowest among isolates from cattle in comparison to isolates from Gallus gallus and pigs. Resistance to ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid was highest for isolates from Gallus gallus.

Among indicator enterococci, resistance to tetracyclines and erythromycin was common in isolates from Gallus gallus, pigs and cattle at levels of 22 % to 90 %, the level of resistance being lowest for isolates from cattle. Resistance to vancomycin continued to be detected, albeit at low to very low levels, at 0.2 % to 2 %, in enterococcal isolates from animals.

Keywords

Zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance, surveillance, monitoring, Salmonella, Campylobacter, indicator Escherichia coli, indicator enterococci