EFSA warns: antibiotic resistance on the rise in the EU

The Europeans Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have published a report highlighting that antimicrobial resistance poses a serious risk to

human and animal health. The report presents the results of the analysis of data submitted by Member States for 2014.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Every year in the EU, infections caused by antimicrobial resistance lead to about 25,000 deaths – but the threat is not confined to Europe. This is a global problem that requires a global solution”.

Key findings of the report:
In Campylobacter isolates from broilers, a high to extremely high resistance was observed against ciprofloxacin (70%), nalidixic acid and to tetracyclines.

Resistance to widely used antimicrobials (tetracyclines, sulphonamides and ampicillin) was commonly detected in Salmonella from humans and poultry. The prevalence of multi-drug resistance was high in bacteria in humans (26%), and especially high in broiler and turkey meat (24.8% and 30.5%, respectively).

The report also found evidence of resistance to the antimicrobial colistin in Salmonella and E.coliamong poultry in the EU. Colistin is commonly used in some countries for the control of E.coliinfections, especially in pigs. Resistance against this antimicrobial in bacteria from humans and animals was previously thought to be chromosomally related and therefore unlikely to be transferred between bacteria. Recently, however, an E. coli strain has been isolated in China carrying a colistin resistance gene on a mobile genetic element (plasmid), which can be transmitted between bacterial. Mike Catchpole, Chief Scientist for ECDC, said: "This is worrying because it means that this last-resort drug may soon no longer be effective for treating severe human infections with Salmonella."

In addition to the high levels of resistance shown throughout Europe, the report found that there are significant regional differences. The highest levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are observed in eastern and southern Europe. Marta Hugas Head of EFSA’s Biological Hazards and Contaminants unit, said: "In northern Europe, there is lower resistance in bacteria from poultry, particularly in countries with low use of antimicrobials in animals."

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Mercordi Animal Care : EFSA warns: antibiotic resistance on the rise in the EU
EFSA warns: antibiotic resistance on the rise in the EU
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