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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



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.