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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Review

Year: 2018

Authors: Tenhagen, BA; Werner, N; Käsbohrer, A; Kreienbrock, L

Title: [Transmission pathways for resistant bacteria between animals and humans: antibiotics resistance in the One Health context].

Other title: Transmission pathways for resistant bacteria between animals and humans: antibiotics resistance in the One Health context

Source: Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2018; 61(5):515-521

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Käsbohrer Annemarie

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology

People and animals share the same environment and antibiotics are used in both. Thus, antibiotics resistance is a major common issue for human and veterinary medicine. The potential impact of antibiotics use in animals on resistance in humans is frequently the focus of debate. In this paper the transmission pathways of resistant bacteria between animals and humans are described and the question is addressed whether a reduction in antibiotics use in animals contributes to the improvement of the resistance situation in humans. Direct contact between humans and animals, transmission of bacteria via food, and indirect transmission via emissions in the environment and the subsequent exposure of humans via the environment are the major transmission routes to be considered. It can thus be established that the relevance of these various transmission routes varies significantly among bacterial species. Furthermore, despite numerous investigations, the exact significance of transmission pathways and the bacteria transferred for the resistance situation in humans cannot yet be precisely quantified. There is evidence that antibiotics use in animals fosters the spread of resistant organisms in animals. Recent studies also suggest that there might be a relationship between antibiotics use in animals and the occurrence of resistance in humans. However, this relationship is complex, and for a better understanding of it and the role of the various transmission pathways, further collaborative studies between veterinary and medical science are needed.

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