Resistance to betalactamase antibiotics caused by the creation of extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL) and (fluoro)quinolone resistance represent resistance characteristics that limit therapeutic options in human and veterinary medicine dramatically. Resistant Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica occur in various animal species, the environment, animal feed and foodstuffs, as well as in humans and are transmitted among and between them. However, the significance for human health and the transmission mechanisms of resistant bacteria and resistant genes of diverse origin are not well understood, despite the large number of studies on resistance. The research venture "RESET – ESBL and (Fluoro)Quinolone RESistance in EnTerobacteriaceae" is attempting to characterise isolates of different origin occurring currently, as part of the German initiative "Research Platform for Zoonoses" (33). Data from the various research foci in the fields of epidemiology, molecular genetics and pharmacy should go into a concept for risk assessment. Recommendations on improving the control of resistant bacteria -- ESBL and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) carrying E.coli and S. enterica in particular -- should be designed, based on these results. A ban on the use of Enrofloxacin in poultry farming is foreseeable in the European Union in the near future. Individual EU Member States have already decided to reduce the overall use of antibiotics considerably in animal-based food production (34).
Although the slogan "Most of the problems with resistance in human medicine are correlated to use of antimicrobials in humans" is still true, it is undisputed that antimicrobial resistance is also of importance in foods of animal origin (35, 36). At present, the progressing resistance of human-pathogenic bacteria to antimicrobials represents a problem that requires the commitment of all the parties involved (human and veterinary medicine, primary animal production, food processing and food preparation) to take responsibility in their respective fields to keep the development and spreading of antimicrobial resistances at bay.
ESBL-producing E.coli from animal-based food in Austria
|Samples ||ESBL-producing E. coli||ESBL-producers in percent|
|Chicken meat with skin||47||18||38,3|
|Chicken meat without skin||31||11||35,5|
|Chicken meat total||82||30||36,6|
|Minced meat mixed||16||0||0|
Table 1: extended spectrum betalactamases (ESBL)-producing in E. coli from animal-based food (Austria, 2011) (Springer B., Giftiger Samstag, Wien 2. Juli 2011)