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Antimicrobial resistance remains commonly detected in bacteria in humans, animals and food: EFSA-ECDC report

25 Mar 2014

​Bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, some of the most common causes of food-borne infections, showed significant resistance to common antimicrobials, according to the newly published EFSA-ECDC European Union Summary Report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2012.

At the EU level, clinical resistance in humans to common antimicrobials in Salmonella spp. isolates was frequently detected. Almost half of the isolates were resistant to at least one antimicrobial, and 28.9% were multidrug-resistant. However, levels of clinical resistance and co-resistance in Salmonella spp. isolates to critically important antimicrobials were low (0.2% co-resistance across the 12 Member States that submitted data).

In Campylobacter spp. isolates from human cases, clinical resistance to common antimicrobials was frequently detected. Very high proportions of Campylobacter spp. isolates (47.4% EU average) were resistant to ciprofloxacin, a critically important antimicrobial, with increasing trends observed in several Member States.

In humans, the levels of clinical resistance to antimicrobials showed a great variability across the Member States, partly due to the use of different methods and criteria for interpreting data. As a step towards improved data quality and comparability, ECDC is launching the EU protocol for harmonised monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in human isolates of Salmonella and Campylobacter. The protocol is primarily targeted to the National Public Health Reference Laboratories to guide the susceptibility testing needed for EU surveillance and the reporting to ECDC. It also provides guidance on how to improve the comparison of results with the antimicrobial resistance monitoring performed in isolates from animals and food products.

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