Journal Article

A European survey of antimicrobial susceptibility among zoonotic and commensal bacteria isolated from food-producing animals

Robin Bywater, Hubert Deluyker, Erik Deroover, Anno de Jong, Hervé Marion, Malcolm McConville, Tim Rowan, Thomas Shryock, Dale Shuster, Valérie Thomas, Michel Vallé and John Walters

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 54, issue 4, pages 744-754
Published in print October 2004 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online October 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
A European survey of antimicrobial susceptibility among zoonotic and commensal bacteria isolated from food-producing animals

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  • Medical Oncology
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Objective: To study antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria isolated from food animals in different countries using uniform methodology.

Methods: Samples were taken at slaughter from chickens, pigs and cattle in four EU countries per host. Escherichia coli (indicator organism; n=2118), Salmonella spp. (n=271) and Campylobacter spp. (n=1325) were isolated in national laboratories and MICs tested in a central laboratory against, where appropriate, ampicillin, cefepime, cefotaxime, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, gentamicin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin, tetracycline and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.

Results: Isolation rates were high for E. coli, low for Salmonella and intermediate for Campylobacter. MIC results showed resistance prevalence varied among compounds, hosts and countries. For E. coli and Salmonella, resistance to newer compounds (cefepime, cefotaxime, ciprofloxacin) was absent or low, but to older compounds (except gentamicin), resistance was variable and higher. E. coli isolates from Sweden showed low resistance, whereas among isolates from Spain (pigs), resistance to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, tetracycline and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole was higher; the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Denmark were intermediate. For Campylobacter spp. isolates from chickens, nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin resistance was >30% in France and the Netherlands, >6% in the UK and zero in Sweden. Nalidixic acid resistance was high in cattle (20%–64%), whereas ciprofloxacin resistance was markedly lower in cattle, variable in pigs (3%–21%) and highest in Sweden. Generally, Campylobacter coli was more resistant than Campylobacter jejuni.

Conclusion: Antimicrobial resistance among enteric organisms in food animals varied among countries, particularly for older antimicrobials, but resistance to newer compounds used to treat disease in humans was generally low.

Keywords: zoonotic; enteric organisms; food animals; antibiotics; resistance; surveillance

Journal Article.  6019 words. 

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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