Summary of minutes of the November 2022 meeting

Twenty Second Meeting of the AMR Working Group

Last updated: 14 September 2023

1.      The Group was presented with the findings of the above study commissioned by the FSA which analysed trends in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in C. jejuni and C. coli isolated from broiler chicken in the UK covering the period from 2001 to 2020. Datasets included AMR results from chicken samples at slaughterhouses and from retail stores in the UK.

2.      The group commented on the findings.  The study report is now available on the FSA’s website

AMR terminology: Use of resistance and reduced susceptibility

3.      The FSA raised with the Group that the issue of AMR terminology used in FSA project reports has been queried specifically the use of terms of “resistant” and “resistance” have been used to describe bacteria when epidemiological cut off values (ECOFFs) were used to determine susceptibility.  Many of the FSA’s research and survey reports concerning “antimicrobial resistance” as well as the wider literature cite and or use different methods and interpretative criteria for example clinical breakpoints and more recently detection of antimicrobial resistance genes through sequencing or a mixture of phenotypic and genotypic methods. The FSA wants to ensure that they and their research contractors are using appropriate terms/definitions.

4.      The Group agreed that a few members of the AMR WG should consider this issue and pull together an initial set of definitions/terms for the full Group’s consideration at a future meeting.

Antimicrobial resistance and wild birds

5.      The Group received a presentation on “Antimicrobial resistance and wild birds” which included a history of multi-drug resistant E. coli first reported in pigeons in 1975, AMR detected in bacteria in many different types of birds (ducks and geese, birds of prey, gulls, cormorants, doves, passerines), first detection of ESBL-producing E. coli in wild birds in 2006 and reports from all continents except Antarctica and Australasia (2014).

Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance and Sales Surveillance (VARSS) 2021

6.      VMD presented to the Group the key highlights arising from the 2021 UK-VARSS report.  It was noted that the UK has achieved the lowest levels of antibiotic sales ever since monitoring began in 2014. This is impressive and positive, particularly because the UK is unique in achieving these kinds of reductions. UK sales for veterinary antibiotics were the lowest recorded to date in 2021: 28.3mg/kg in food producing animals with sales reducing by 34.0 mg/kg (55%) since 2014.  The UK industry has achieved this voluntarily without legislative interventions.

Work plan discussion on future meetings

7.      The group discussed its work plan for future meetings.



August 2023