Antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria still high in humans, animals & food
Bacteria from humans & animals continue to show resistance to antimicrobials according to a new report published by the EFSA and the ECDC. The report highlights some emerging issues & confirms antimicrobial resistance as one of the biggest threats to public health.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety reaffirmed his commitment to tackle AMR: “Levels of antimicrobial resistance still differ significantly from one EU country to another. To win the fight, we need to join our efforts and implement stringent policies on the use of antibiotics across sectors. It is vital that we all renew our commitment to fight antimicrobial resistance by focusing on the key areas set out in the EU One Health Action Plan against antimicrobial resistance.”
Among the new findings, based on data from 2016, are detection of resistance to carbapenems in poultry, an antibiotic which is not authorised for use in animals, and of ESBL-producing Salmonella Kentucky with high resistance to ciprofloxacin in humans, which was reported for the first time in four countries.
Marta Hugas, EFSA’s chief scientist said: “The detection of resistance to carbapenems in poultry and to linezolid in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureusin pigs is alarming because these antibiotics are used in humans to treat serious infections. It is important that risk managers follow-up on these findings.”
Mike Catchpole, ECDC’s chief scientist commented on the results: “We are concerned to see that Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria in humans show high levels of antimicrobial resistance. The fact that we keep detecting multidrug-resistant bacteria means that the situation is not improving. We need to investigate the origins and prevent the spread of highly resistant strains, such as ESBL-producing SalmonellaKentucky”.
Animals and foods
- Resistance to carbapenem antibiotics was detected at very low level in poultry and in chicken meat in two Member States (fifteen E. coli bacteria). Carbapenems are used to treat serious infections in humans and are not authorised for use in animals.
- Two Livestock-Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria found in pigs were reported to be linezolid-resistant. Linezolid is one of the last-resort antimicrobials for the treatment of infections caused by highly-resistant MRSA.
- Combined clinical resistance to critically important antimicrobials was observed at low to very low levels in Salmonella (0.2%), Campylobacter (1%) and E. coli (1%) in poultry.
- Resistance to colistin was observed at low levels (2%) in Salmonella and E. Coli in poultry.
- Prevalence of ESBL-producing E. coli in poultry varies markedly between the Member States, from low (less than 10%) to extremely high levels (more than 70%). Bacteria that produce ESBL enzymes show multi-drug resistance to β-lactam antibiotics – a class of broad spectrum antibiotics which include penicillin derivatives, cephalosporins and carbapenems. This is the first time that the presence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli was monitored in poultry and poultry meat.
- One out of four infections in humans are caused by Salmonella bacteria that show resistance to three or more antimicrobials commonly used in human and animal medicine. The proportion is significantly higher in S. Kentucky and S. Infantis (76.3 and 39.4% respectively).
- For the first time, ESBL-producing S. Kentucky with high resistance to ciprofloxacin was detected in four countries. These bacteria are not possible to treat with critically important antibiotics.
- Campylobacter bacteria, which cause the most common foodborne disease in the EU, show high resistance to widely used antibiotics (ciprofloxacin resistance 54.6% in C. jejuni and 63.8% in C. coli; tetracyline resistance 42.8% in C. jejuniand 64.8% in C. coli). The levels of resistance increased in two of the three analysed antibiotics (ciprofloxacin and tetracycline) but combined resistance to the critically important antimicrobials is stable and overall low (0.6% in C. jejuniand 8.0% in C. coli). In some countries, however, at least one in three C. coli infections were multidrug-resistant to important antibiotics, leaving very few treatment options for severe infections.
Notes to editors
The categorisation of antibiotics as critically/ highly important/ important used in this news story refers to World Health Organisation’s list of critically important antimicrobials, 5th update (2017).
Latest News from
Rule of law in Poland and Hungary has worsened17/01/2020 12:05:00
The EU’s discussions with Poland and Hungary have not yet led these countries to realign with the EU’s founding values, Parliament warned on Thursday.
Parliament supports European Green Deal and pushes for even higher ambitions16/01/2020 15:25:00
MEPs support the European Green Deal, but highlight challenges, including ensuring a just and inclusive transition and the need for high interim targets.
Brexit: MEPs concerned about citizens' rights16/01/2020 13:25:00
Parliament highlights that assurances are needed on the protection of citizens’ rights to ensure its consent to the Withdrawal Agreement.
Meeting between President von der Leyen and Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of Ireland16/01/2020 11:48:00
Remarks made at the joint press point (15 January 2020).
Trade/WTO: EU, U.S. and Japan agree on new ways to strengthen global rules on industrial subsidies15/01/2020 13:25:00
In a Joint Statement, representatives of the European Union, the United States and Japan announced their agreement to strengthen existing rules on industrial subsidies and condemned forced technology transfers practices.
EC steps up protection of European intellectual property in global markets10/01/2020 15:20:00
The EC has published the latest report on protection & enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in third countries. IPR infringements worldwide cost European firms €bns in lost revenue and put thousands of jobs at risk. The report identifies three groups of countries on which the EU will focus its action.
Speech by President von der Leyen at the LSE on 'Old friends, new beginnings: building another future for the EU-UK partnership'09/01/2020 12:10:00
In 1950, before our Union was formed, the UK, Italy and Germany were among the ten most populous countries in the world. Today, only one of those is in the top 20.
Eurojust becomes an Agency07/01/2020 12:05:00
Eurojust heralds a new phase in its development, as it officially becomes the European Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, with the application of the Eurojust Regulation as the new legal basis.
ESMA extends recognition decisions for 3 UK CCPs in the event of a no-deal Brexit24/12/2019 10:25:00
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has announced that it has extended the recognition decisions for the 3 central counterparties (CCPs) established in the UK to reflect the extension of the expiry date of the Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/2031 of the EC on the equivalence of the UK CCP legal framework.