Journal Article

Human Health Hazard from Antimicrobial-Resistant Enterococci in Animals and Food

Frederick J. Angulo, Ole E. Heuer, Anette M. Hammerum, Peter Collignon and Henrik C. Wegener

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 43, issue 7, pages 911-916
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/507534
Human Health Hazard from Antimicrobial-Resistant Enterococci in Animals and Food

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The use of antimicrobial agents in the modern farm industry has created a reservoir of resistant bacteria in food animals. Foods of animal origin are often contaminated with enterococci that are likely to contribute resistance genes, virulence factors, or other properties to enterococci IN humans. The potential hazard to human health from antimicrobial-resistant enterococci in animals is questioned by some scientists because of evidence of host specificity of enterococci. Similarly, the occurrences of specific nosocomial clones of enterococci in hospitals have lead to the misconception that antimicrobial-resistant animal enterococci should be disregarded as a human health hazard. On the basis of review of the literature, we find that neither the results provided by molecular typing that classify enterococci as host-specific organisms nor the occurrence of specific nosocomial clones of enterococci provide reasons to change the current view that antimicrobial-resistant enterococci from animals pose a threat to human health. On the contrary, antimicrobial resistance genes appear to spread freely between enterococci from different reservoirs, irrespective of their apparent host association.

Journal Article.  4279 words. 

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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