EFSA/ECDC EU report on antimicrobial resistance

Bacteria found in humans, animals and food continue to show resistance to widely used antimicrobials, according to this report on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).


The data on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria in 2015, submitted by 28 EU Member States (MSs), were jointly analysed by EFSA and ECDC. Resistance in zoonotic Salmonella and Campylobacter from humans, animals and food, and resistance in indicator Escherichia coli as well as meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in animals and food were addressed. ‘Microbiological’ resistance was assessed using epidemiological cut-off (ECOFF) values; for some countries, qualitative data on human isolates were interpreted in a way which corresponds closely to the ECOFF-defined ‘microbiological’ resistance. In Salmonella from humans, high proportions of isolates were resistant to ampicillin, sulfonamides and tetracyclines, whereas resistance to third-generation cephalosporins was low. In Salmonella and Escherichia coli isolates from fattening pigs and calves under one year of age, resistance to ampicillin, tetracyclines and sulfonamides was frequently detected, whereas resistance to third-generation cephalosporins was uncommon. For the first time, presumptive extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-/AmpC-/carbapenemase-production in Salmonella and Escherichia coli was monitored in humans (Salmonella), meat (pork and beef), fattening pigs and calves. Varying occurrence/prevalence rates of ESBL-/AmpC-producers were observed between countries, and carbapenemase-producing Escherichia coli were detected in single samples of pig meat and from fattening pigs from two MSs. Resistance to colistin was observed at low levels in Salmonella and Escherichia coli from fattening pigs and calves under one year of age and meat thereof. In Campylobacter from humans, high to extremely high proportions of isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin and tetracyclines, particularly in C. coli. In a few countries, a third to half of C. coli in humans were resistant also to erythromycin, leaving few options for treatment of severe Campylobacter infections. High resistance to ciprofloxacin and tetracyclines was observed in Ccoli isolates from fattening pigs, whereas much lower levels were recorded for erythromycin. Co-resistance to critically important antimicrobials in both human and animal isolates was generally uncommon.

Read the scientific report (February 2017)