Category Archives: Antibiotic Resistance

Research – Levels of AMR E. coli in UK retail meat remain low


Levels of AMR E. coli in UK retail meat remain low

We have published the Year 3 results of an EU survey commissioned to assess the frequency of certain types of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) E. coli in raw UK retail pork and beef. Results show that these AMR levels remain consistently low, similar to those from the previous survey on beef and pork in Year 1.

Year 3 of the survey was carried out between January and December 2017 during which 314 beef and 310 pork samples were purchased from retail premises in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and tested for specific types of AMR E. coli.

The survey generates baseline data on certain types of AMR E. coli found on retail meat in the UK, which will subsequently inform our assessment of the risks and our next steps to reducing exposure to AMR.

Overall, results showed that less than 1% of the samples were positive for ESBL or AmpC E. coli, which are specific types of AMR. These results are similar to what was found in Year 1 of the survey. However, one beef sample was found to be contaminated with an E. coli containing the mcr-1 gene which confers resistance to the antibiotic colistin.

FSA’s Head of Microbiological Risk Assessment, Paul Cook said:

‘This is thought to be the first discovery of an mcr-1 positive E. coli from retail beef in the UK. Although the meat came from outside the UK, further testing indicated no contamination with this E.coli on other samples and at this stage we have not been able to pinpoint the source of the contamination. However, a risk assessment has been carried out and we want to make it clear that the risk to public health is very low.

‘Tackling AMR is a significant priority for the FSA and across UK Government. This survey allows us to monitor certain AMR E. coli trends over time, but also compares the UK situation with that of other EU Member States. In the recently published 2015 EU report, the UK compared favourably to results from other European countries.’

These findings have been collected on behalf of the European Commission as part of an EU-wide seven-year surveillance study. The data is fed back to the European Commission on a yearly basis and reported in the EU Summary Report on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Research – European study: 33,000 deaths a year from resistant infections


A team of European researchers estimates that more than 33,000 people in Europe die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections, and that the growing health burden of these infections is similar to that of influenza, tuberculosis, and HIV combined.

The results of the study, which calculated the incidence of five types of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in 31 European Union/European Economic Activity (EU/EEA) countries and measured the impact of those infections in number of cases, attributable deaths, and overall health burden, were published yesterday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The estimates are based on 2015 data from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net).

Research – Pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus in hospital food samples; prevalence and antimicrobial resistance properties

Wiley Online Staph


The present investigation was done to study the prevalence and antibiotic resistance properties of S. aureus strains isolated from hospitals foods. Four‐hundred and fifty‐seven raw and cooked hospital food samples were collected and transferred to laboratory. Samples were cultured and S. aureus isolates were subjected to disk diffusion method. Forty‐seven out of 457 (10.28%) hospital food samples harbored S. aureus. Chicken meat (27.02%), meat barbecue (16.12%) and salad (7.14%) were the most commonly contaminated samples. S. aureus strains exhibited the highest levels of resistance against penicillin (70.21%), tetracycline (59.57%) and trimethoprim‐sulfamethoxazole (51.06%). Prevalence of resistance against ceftaroline (25.53%) and chloramphenicol (27.65%) were low. High prevalence of S. aureus in raw and cooked hospital food samples showed insufficiency of cooking time and temperature in the kitchens of hospitals as well as lack of personal hygiene. Further studies are essential to assess other microbiological and epidemiological aspects of the S. aureus.

Practical applications

Due to the general weakness of hospitalized patients, hospital food samples should have a high microbial quality. Staphylococcus aureus is common foodborne bacteria with an emergence of antibiotic resistance. This study emphasizes the importance of multidrug resistant S. aureus in hospital food sample. Results represented that hospital food samples may act as a reservoir of S. aureus with ability to transfer antibiotic resistance.

Research – How bacteria play pass the parcel — and help each other evade antibiotics

Science Daily 

CDC Clost perf

Bacteria are very sneaky in their efforts to develop resistance to antibiotics. Some strains of bacteria package up the genetic instructions for how they defend themselves and cause disease, and pass this information on to neighboring, naïve, bacteria — essentially gifting their colleagues with the defenses they need to survive against our medical armory of antibiotics. Scientists have now answered a key question about how a dangerous bacterium, Clostridium perfringens, shares its genetic information.

Research – Rates of increase of antibiotic resistance and ambient temperature in Europe: a cross-national analysis of 28 countries between 2000-2016



Background. Widely recognized as a major public health threat globally, the rapid increase of antibiotic resistance in bacteria could soon render our most effective method to combat infections obsolete. Factors influencing the burden of resistance in human populations remain poorly described, though temperature is known to play an important role in mechanisms at the bacterial level. Methods. We performed an ecologic analysis of country level antibiotic resistance prevalence in 3 common bacterial pathogens across 28 countries in Europe, and used multivariable models to evaluate associations with minimum temperature and other predictors over a 17-year period (2000-2016). We quantified the effects of minimum temperature, population density, and antibiotic consumption on the rate of change of antibiotic resistance across geographies. Findings. For three common bacterial pathogens and four classes of antibiotics, we found evidence of a long-term effect of ambient minimum temperature on rates of increase of antibiotic resistance across 28 countries in Europe between 2000-2016. Specifically, we show that across all antibiotic classes for the pathogens E. coli and K. pneumoniae, European countries with 10°C warmer ambient temperatures have experienced more rapid increases in antibiotic resistance over the 17-year period, ranging between 0.33%/year (95% CI 0.2, 0.5) and 1.2%/year (0.4, 1.9), even after accounting for recognized drivers of resistance including antibiotic consumption and population density. We found a decreasing relationship for S. aureus and methicillin of -0.4%/year (95% CI -0.7, 0.0), reflecting widespread declines in MRSA across Europe over the study period. Interpretation. Ambient temperature may be an important modulator of the rate of change of antibiotic resistance. Our findings suggest that rising temperatures globally may hasten the spread of resistance and complicate efforts to mitigate it.

Research – Extended antibiotic treatment in salmon farms select multiresistant gut bacteria with a high prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes


The high use of antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial diseases is one of the main problems in the mass production of animal protein. Salmon farming in Chile is a clear example of the above statement, where more than 5,500 tonnes of antibiotics have been used over the last 10 years. This has caused a great impact both at the production level and on the environment; however, there are still few works in relation to it. In order to demonstrate the impact of the high use of antibiotics on fish gut microbiota, we have selected four salmon farms presenting a similar amount of fish of the Atlantic salmon species (Salmo salar), ranging from 4,500 to 6,000 tonnes. All of these farms used treatments with high doses of antibiotics. Thus, 15 healthy fish were selected and euthanised in order to isolate the bacteria resistant to the antibiotics oxytetracycline and florfenicol from the gut microbiota. In total, 47 bacterial isolates resistant to florfenicol and 44 resistant to oxytetracycline were isolated, among which isolates with Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) exceeding 2048 μg/mL for florfenicol and 1024 μg/mL for oxytetracycline were found. In addition, another six different antibiotics were tested in order to demonstrate the multiresistance phenomenon. In this regard, six isolates of 91 showed elevated resistance values for the eight tested antibiotics, including florfenicol and oxytetracycline, were found. These bacteria were called “super-resistant” bacteria. This phenotypic resistance was verified at a genotypic level since most isolates showed antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) to florfenicol and oxytetracycline. Specifically, 77% of antibiotic resistant bacteria showed at least one gene resistant to florfenicol and 89% showed at least one gene resistant to oxytetracycline. In the present study, it was demonstrated that the high use of the antibiotics florfenicol and oxytetracycline has, as a consequence, the selection of multiresistant bacteria in the gut microbiota of farmed fish of the Salmo salar species at the seawater stage. Also, the phenotypic resistance of these bacteria can be correlated with the presence of antibiotic resistance genes.

Research – Routine antibiotic therapy in dogs increases the detection of antimicrobial-resistant faecal Escherichia coli

Academic Oup



Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a critical health problem, with systemic antimicrobial therapy driving development of AMR across the host spectrum.


This study compares longitudinal carriage, at multiple timepoints, of AMR faecal Escherichia coli in dogs undergoing routine antimicrobial treatment.


Faecal samples (n =457) from dogs (n =127) were examined pretreatment, immediately after treatment and 1 month and 3 months post-treatment with one of five antimicrobials. Isolates were tested for susceptibility to a range of antimicrobials using disc diffusion for each treatment group at different timepoints; the presence/absence of corresponding resistance genes was investigated using PCR assays. The impact of treatment group/timepoint and other risk factors on the presence of resistance [MDR, fluoroquinolone resistance, third-generation cephalosporin resistance (3GCR) and ESBL and AmpC production] was investigated using multilevel modelling. Samples with at least one AMR E. coli from selective/non-selective agar were classed as positive. Resistance was also assessed at the isolate level, determining the abundance of AMR from non-selective culture.


Treatment with β-lactams or fluoroquinolones was significantly associated with the detection of 3GCR, AmpC-producing, MDR and/or fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli, but not ESBL-producing E. coli, immediately after treatment. However, 1 month post-treatment, only amoxicillin/clavulanate was significantly associated with the detection of 3GCR; there was no significant difference at 3 months post-treatment for any antimicrobial compared with pretreatment samples.


Our findings demonstrated that β-lactam and fluoroquinolone antibiotic usage is associated with increased detection of important phenotypic and genotypic AMR faecal E. coli following routine therapy in vet-visiting dogs. This has important implications for veterinary and public health in terms of antimicrobial prescribing and biosecurity protocols, and dog waste disposal.