Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group meeting 4 February 2014

Summary of the third meeting of the group held by teleconference

Members met to discuss the AMR aspects of AHVLA’s Project OZ0150, a prevalence study of a number of infectious agents in UK pigs at slaughter. They had been provided with an embargoed copy of the draft report which was not yet in the public domain. The Secretariat had highlighted the sections of the report that were most relevant to the Group’s remit which mainly related to antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter coli and the occurrence of Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL) producing E. coli. Members discussed the methods used in the study, the report’s findings, and the implications of the findings which related to the Group’s overview and horizon scanning role on AMR.

Members noted that there were no data on antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella. They also highlighted the high percentage of ESBL E. coli found (ESBL E. coli was detected in 23.4% of pigs examined).

Members agreed that, while it was difficult to make comparisons with previous surveys, at present there was very little evidence that the level of risk from antimicrobial organisms and genes had decreased. They were aware that there were a number of EU initiatives which may increase the assessment of the efficiency of mitigation strategies and that this would be a useful way forward. Members recognised that antimicrobial resistance was a worldwide problem and better coordination between countries on both veterinary and human levels of resistance and susceptibility, would improve the assessment of risk in the future.

The following suggestions on possible future work were made:

  • given the recent findings on LA-MRSA, whether testing could be done on the tonsil samples from the survey
  • in order to have accurate, comparable data, opportunities should be taken to do regular surveillance for AMR as part of existing required surveys or on an ad hoc basis
  • surveillance of resistance in Campylobacter in human isolates should be carried out on a regular basis

The next meeting of the Group was scheduled for 20 March 2014.