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anses

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Antimicrobial resistance in animal health: more and more bacteria resistant to newer-generation fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins

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News of 17/11/2011

18 November 2011

To mark European Antibiotic Awareness Day, ANSES held a meeting for all the stakeholders interested in the animal health component of this topic. At the event, the Agency presented the latest results of its work in this area. These point in particular to an increase in resistance to third- and fourth-generation fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins, antimicrobials of critical importance to human and animal health.

In recent years, the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, both in humans and in animals, has become a major concern in public and animal health, because it can lead to treatment impasses. Since 1999, the Agency has worked on this issue and made it one of its main priorities for the coming years. Its work in this area involves five of its laboratories, as well as the Risk Assessment Department and the French Agency for Veterinary Medicinal Products. It focuses on five areas: monitoring the use of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine, studies on uses in farming, surveillance of bacterial resistance, risk assessment, and research on antimicrobial resistance.

To mark European Antibiotic Awareness Day, ANSES organised a meeting devoted to antimicrobial resistance in animal health, at which it presented the latest results of its work in this area.
Data from the latest report on antimicrobial consumption by the French Agency for Veterinary Medicinal Products (ANSES-ANMV) in 2010 showed some stabilisation in consumption of third- and fourth-generation fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins, following a steady increase over the previous ten years. The latest data from the French surveillance network for antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic bacteria of animal origin (RESAPATH) confirm the growth in resistance to third- and fourth-generation fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins, especially in the hen/chicken sector.

In accordance with European recommendations, ANSES reiterates that these types of antimicrobials should be strictly limited to second-line treatments. The Agency also stresses the importance of the measures provided for under the national plan to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance in veterinary medicine, launched by the Minister of Agriculture and Food, whose actions will lead to better use of antimicrobials.
As part of this plan, ANSES will continue its research work, which seeks in particular to better understand the mechanisms of resistance and identify the most unsafe practices with respect to emergence of resistance.
In this context, ANSES also issued an internal request to assess the risks of emergence of antimicrobial resistance associated with patterns of antimicrobial use in the field of animal health. An expert group has been formed and the results of its work are expected by late 2013.
Finally, ANSES will continue its work at European Community level for the establishment of a European surveillance scheme for antimicrobial use led by the EMA (European Medicines Agency), as well as its collaboration within the HMA (Heads of Medicines Agencies) group on the topic of antimicrobial resistance.