US reports show decreasing antimicrobial resistance in meat

By Georgi Gyton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Resistance in Salmonella has fallen from 38% in 2009 to 20% in 2013
Resistance in Salmonella has fallen from 38% in 2009 to 20% in 2013

Related tags: Antimicrobial resistance, Antibiotic resistance, Meat, Salmonella, Beef, Pork, Poultry

The National Chicken Council (NCC) has said it was pleased with the findings of two US Food and Drug Administration reports, which showed mostly decreasing antimicrobial resistance.

The 2012 Retail Meat Report, and the 2013 Retail Meat Interim Report - both released on Monday (13 April) - measure antimicrobial resistance in certain bacteria, isolated from raw meat and poultry which has been collected through the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), which focuses on resistance to antibiotics that are considered important in human medicine, as well as multi-drug resistance.

The 2012 report summarises key findings in antimicrobial resistance related to raw chicken, ground turkey, ground beef and pork chops at retail outlets, while the Interim Report focuses only on Salmonella.

Among the key findings in the reports, were that resistance in Salmonella from retail chicken declined from a peak of 38% in 2009, to 28% in 2012, and then 20% in 2013. Resistance in ground turkey peaked in 2011 at 22%, falling to 18% in 2012 and 9% in 2013.

According to the FDA: "Salmonella from retail meats remained susceptible to ciprofloxacin, one of the most important antibiotics for treating Salmonella infections. Similarly, Salmonella from retail meats were susceptible to azithromycin, another important antibiotic recommended for treatment of Salmonella and other intestinal pathogens."

There was also a continuous decline in the overall proportion of Salmonella isolates that were multi-drug resistant between 2011 and 2013. While in 2012, "only 1% 1% of C. jejuni from retail chicken were resistant to erythromycin, the drug of choice for treating Campylobacter infections".

Ashley Peterson, Ph.D, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the NCC, said it was pleased to see many positive trends in the data continue, "including a decrease in resistance in several foodborne pathogens, and that first-line antibiotics remain effective in treating illnesses".

The NCC said the reports provided a strong case to suggest that the continued judicious use of antibiotics by poultry and livestock producers is aiding in the reduction of resistance in various foodborne pathogens.

Related topics: Meat

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