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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2019

Authors: Roth, N; Käsbohrer, A; Mayrhofer, S; Zitz, U; Hofacre, C; Domig, KJ

Title: The application of antibiotics in broiler production and the resulting antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli: A global overview.

Source: Poult Sci. 2019; 98(4):1791-1804

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

The increase in antibiotic resistance is a global concern for human and animal health. Resistant microorganisms can spread between food-producing animals and humans. The objective of this review was to identify the type and amount of antibiotics used in poultry production and the level of antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli isolated from broilers. Isolate information was obtained from national monitoring programs and research studies conducted in large poultry-producing regions: US, China, Brazil, and countries of EU-Poland, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain. The survey results clearly display the absence of a harmonized approach in the monitoring of antibiotics per animal species and the evaluation of resistances using the same methodology. There is no public long-term quantitative data available targeting the amount of antibiotics used in poultry, with the exception of France. Data on antibiotic-resistant E. coli are available for most regions but detection of resistance and number of isolates in each study differs among regions; therefore, statistical evaluation was not possible. Data from France indicate that the decreased use of tetracyclines leads to a reduction in the detected resistance rates. The fluoroquinolones, third-generation cephalosporins, macrolides, and polymyxins ("highest priority critically important" antibiotics for human medicine according to WHO) are approved for use in large poultry-producing regions, with the exception of fluoroquinolones in the US and cephalosporins in the EU. The approval of cephalosporins in China could not be evaluated. Tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, sulfonamides, and penicillins are registered for use in poultry in all evaluated countries. The average resistance rates in E. coli to representatives of these antibiotic classes are higher than 40% in all countries, with the exception of ampicillin in the US. The resistance rates to fluoroquinolones and quinolones in the US, where fluoroquinolones are not registered for use, are below 5%, while the average of resistant E. coli is above 40% in Brazil, China, and EU, where use of fluoroquinolones is legalized. However, banning of fluoroquinolones and quinolones has not totally eliminated the occurrence of resistant populations.

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