Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group meeting 16 February 2016

Last updated:
7 October 2016
Summary of the 11th meeting of the Group

Risk assessment on Livestock Associated Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in the food chain

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) presented the group with its revised draft risk assessment on LA-MRSA in the food chain. The risk assessment was updated following the 29 September 2015 meeting of the group and the completion of the Public Health England (PHE) North West survey on LA-MRSA in raw retail meat.

Following discussion it was agreed that the risk assessment would be finalised once the additional comments made at the meeting and others to be forwarded after the meeting have been incorporated in the document.

Update on Colistin

In December 2015 the group had discussed the issue of colistin resistance in Salmonella and E.coli in pigs in the UK. At this meeting (held on 16 February) Members received an update on recent developments. The group was also updated on recent developments of colistin resistance in other countries reported in the Lancet (plasmid-mediated colistin resistance in Escherichia coli isolated from animals, food, and humans in other countries including China) and Eurosurveillance (prevalence of mcr-1 in commensal E.coli from French livestock, 2007 to 2014 (paper AMR/99 refers). The group noted that a 2005 French study of veal calves found 21% of ESBL producing E.coli were positive to mcr-1 which underlines that this gene has been around for a while. In addition, the group was briefed on the European Medicines Agency and European Food Safety Authority’s activities in relation to colistin and agreed to monitor developments.

The group discussed the potential significance of plasmid-mediated resistant gene compared to chromosomal genes.

Members noted that the Veterinary Medicines Agency and Animal and Plant Health Agency will publish a paper in due course on their findings on colistin resistance in livestock.

Independent article – Poultry farmers 'using more antibiotics linked to resistant food poisoning bugs' (fluorquinolones in poultry production)

The group considered the above article published in the Independent on 9 February 2016 and the British Poultry Council’s press release issued on 12 February 2016 (British Poultry meat sector leads the way in antibiotic reduction) that presented the other side of the debate.

LA results from MRSA in retail meats

The group was updated on the results of the survey on LA-MRSA in raw meat (poultry and pork) on retail sale in North West England carried out by PHE (as part of the North West Survey Sampling Programme) between March and July 2015. Members were informed that PHE was in the process of publishing the details of the study.

Use of Recycled Manure Solids as bedding for dairy cattle

A paper on the above issue was presented to the group. Members were informed that ACMSF has considered the issue of the use of RMS as bedding for dairy cattle in January 2015 and 2016. It was reported that the FSA has suggested that it would be appropriate for the group to look at AMR issues associated RMS. Members agreed that it was important for the group to consider the AMR angle of RMS and the possible risks.

DARC update

Members received an update on the outcome of the 9 February 2016 DARC (Defra Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination) meeting.

Update on the FSA’s systematic literature review to assess the significance of the food chain in the context of AMR

The group was updated on the above systematic literature review. Members were informed that study is expected to be completed in March 2016. The FSA expect to publish report in Summer 2016.

EFSA/ECDC report: Antimicrobial Resistance in zoonotic bacteria

The above report published in February 2016 was presented to the group. The findings of this Europe-wide report by EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reiterated that AMR poses a serious risk to human and animal health. It highlighted that every year in the EU, infections caused by AMR lead to about 25,000 deaths.

The group noted that JIACRA (EFSA’s Joint Interagency Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance Analysis) is to be reconvened to consider the report’s findings.

Work plan

The group discussed its work plan for future meetings.