Changing patterns of antimicrobial resistance in food-borne bacteria

  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) shows changing patterns of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Salmonella and Campylobacter.

According to the report, Campylobacteriosis was the most reported zoonosis in the EU in 2020 and the most frequently reported cause of foodborne illness. Foodborne Campylobacter continues to show very high resistance to ciprofloxacin. Increasing trends of resistance against fluoroquinolones have been observed in Campylobacter jejuni.

In Salmonella Enteritidis, increasing trends of resistance to the quinolones/fluoroquinolones class of antibiotics were observed.

Despite the increasing trends of resistance against certain antibiotics, simultaneous resistance to the two critically important antibiotics remains low for Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter.

A decline in resistance to tetracyclines and ampicillin in Salmonella from humans was observed in nine and 10 countries, respectively, over the period 2016-2020, and this was particularly evident in Salmonella typhimurium. Despite the decline, resistance to these antibiotics still remains high.

In more than half of the EU countries, a statistically significant decreasing trend in the prevalence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli was observed in food-producing animals. This is an important finding as particular strains of ESBL-producing E. coli are responsible for serious infections in humans.