The emergence of resistance in food animals has been associated to the consumption of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine. Consequently, monitoring programs have been designed to monitor the occurrence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. This study analyses the amount of antimicrobial agents used in nine European countries from 2005 to 2011, and compares by univariate analysis the correlations between consumptions of each of the following antimicrobial classes; tetracycline, penicillins, cephalosporins, quinolones and macrolides. An overview of resistance in zoonotic and commensal bacteria in Europe focusing on Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter sp. and Enterococcus sp., during the same period of time based on monitoring programs is also assessed. With the exception of cephalosporins, linear regressions showed strong positive associations between the consumption of the four different antimicrobial classes. Substantial differences between countries were observed in the amount of antimicrobials used to produce 1kg of meat. Moreover, large variations in proportions of resistant bacteria were reported by the different countries, suggesting differences in veterinary practice. Despite the withdrawn of a specific antimicrobial from “on farm” use, persistence over the years of bacteria resistant to this particular antimicrobial agent, was still observed. There were also differences in trends of resistance associated to specific animal species. In order to correlate the use of antimicrobial agents to the presence of resistance, surveillance of antimicrobial consumption by animal species should be established. Subsequently, intervention strategies could be designed to minimize the occurrence of resistance.
Veterinary Microbiology, 2014, Vol 170, Issue 1-2, p. 1-9