The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have published the second joint EU report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria affecting humans, animals and food. The report makes an important contribution to current work being carried out at EU-level to fight antimicrobial resistance.
The report, based on data collected from EU Member States for 2010, shows that resistance to several antimicrobials was commonly detected in zoonotic bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter which are the main causes of reported food-borne infections in the EU. The occurrence of resistance in animals and food remained similar to that of previous years.
The report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria shows that a high proportion of Campylobacter in humans is resistant to the critically important antimicrobial ciprofloxacin whereas low resistance was recorded for another critically important antimicrobial, erythromycin. Campylobacteriosis is the most frequently reported zoonotic infection in humans in the EU with over 200,000 reported cases in 2010. High resistance is also recorded for commonly used antimicrobials such as ampicillin and tetracyclines. In animals and food, a very high proportion of Campylobacter is resistant to ciprofloxacin, particularly in chicken but also in pigs and cattle.
In humans, a high proportion of Salmonella, which accounted for almost 100,000 reported human cases of salmonellosis in 2010, is resistant to common antimicrobials but resistance to critically important antimicrobials for treating humans is relatively low. In animals and food, high levels of resistance in Salmonella were reported for commonly used antimicrobials as well as for ciprofloxacin in poultry.
Resistance in indicator E. coli in poultry was high to the critically important antimicrobial ciprofloxacin while in indicator enterococci in animals high resistance was recorded to another important antibiotic, erythromycin.
Wednesday 14 March, 2012/ EFSA/ European Union.