Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group meeting 13 July 2016

Last updated:
1 December 2016
Summary of the twelfth meeting of the Group

FSA Board paper on AMR from board discussion 13 July 2016

The above paper was presented to the group for members to consider key points relating to risk assessment that came out of the meeting. It was reported that a main issue discussed by the FSA Board was concerning the FSA’s role on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The group gathered that the above paper did not give the FSA Board the required clarity on the FSA’s role on AMR. The group noted that the paper was more of a risk management aspiration and drew attention to the roles of other government departments such as the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and the Department of Health that have clear roles on issues relating to AMR.

As the above paper circulated to the group to consider was a finalised version, members highlighted that they would have preferred to have seen it before it was finalised as there were some expressions in the paper that were not balanced. The secretariat explained why the group did not see the paper before it was finalised. It was agreed that the group will be given the opportunity to comment on any revised AMR Board paper before it is finalised.

EU activities in relation to colistin

A member of the group who is also a member of the EC-sponsored Antimicrobial Advice ad hoc expert group (AMEG) provided an update on AMEG’s EU activities relating to colistin resistance in the food chain. AMEG (that its membership include: the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, European Food Safety Authority and European Medicines Agency experts) was recommissioned in January 2016 to look at transferable colistin resistance (mcr-1) and colistin usage in human and veterinary medicine. AMEG’s recommendations can be found at:

The group had extensive discussion on the updated advice on the use of colistin products in animals within the EU and amongst others has passed its recommendations to the FSA.

Update on the work of the EU Working Group on the Reduction of the need to use antimicrobials in animal husbandry

Members were updated on the work of the above group that are aiming to publish an opinion by December 2016. Presentation on the opinion to be provided at the group’s next meeting scheduled for 30 November 2016.

Update on the activities of DARC

Members received an update on the outcome of the June 2016 DARC (Defra Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination) meeting. The group was updated on recent issues relating to LA-MRSA, ESBL, monophasic Salmonllea Typhimurium pigs and other unusual Salmonellas in non-food producing animals.

The group agreed to maintain their watching brief on MRSA in the food chain and indicated that they would find it helpful to receive regular updates on food related MRSA.

Update on the FSA systematic review

Members were informed that the contractors for the above report (Royal Veterinary College) were revising a draft version of report. The report is expected to be published before the end of 2016.

Work plan discussion on future meetings and any other business

Group to discuss the role of whole genome sequencing in investigations of AMR.  It was recognised that that there was merit in considering how WGS could be used to check the growing challenge of AMR.

Regarding the issues relating to food safety risk of recycled manure solids (RMS) used as bedding for dairy cattle, it confirmed that the full Committee accepted the recommendation of two of its members that considered the findings of the research carried out by Quality Milk Management Services. The study did not find any associations between RMS use and an increased risk of milk contamination with zoonotic pathogens as mandatory pasteurization would effectively control bacterial hazards.The Committee accepted the members’ recommendation that there was no need for an ACMSF subgroup to look at this issue further.

The group agreed to review its terms of terms of reference at a future meeting.