Antibiotic resistance still common in foodborne bacteria

| March 29, 2014

chickensA newly published joint report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reveals that resistance to at least one common antimicrobial drug remains a common feature of bacterial pathogens isolated from humans, animals and food.

The European Union Summary Report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2012 analyses data from 26 EU member states plus three EFTA countries. It shows that almost half of human Salmonella isolates were resistant to at least one antimicrobial and 28.9% were multidrug resistant. Resistant strains were also common in food animals, especially broilers, pigs and turkeys. A similar picture was found for Campylobacter isolates from humans and broilers and for E. coli in broilers and pigs.

Of particular concern is the high level of resistance to the critically important antimicrobial ciprofloxacin – almost half of the Campylobacter isolates studied were resistant to this drug. However, there is little evidence of co-resistance to ciprofloxacin and other critically important antimicrobials in humans or animals. Co-resistant bacteria can cause infections that are very difficult to treat. Nevertheless EFSA considers that the high level of resistance is still a matter of concern.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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