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Updated on 12/05/2021


A unique scheme for monitoring the development of antimicrobial resistance

Keywords : Antimicrobial resistance, Antibiotics, Resapath, Veterinary medicinal products, Animal health, Colistin

Since 1982, this unique scheme has been monitoring changes in antimicrobial resistance in all animal species in France. Run by two ANSES laboratories (Lyon and Ploufragan-Plouzané), it coordinates the work of more than 70 departmental laboratories in determining resistance to antimicrobials.

Resapath is the only veterinary network to be a member of the National observatory for epidemiology of bacterial resistance to antimicrobials (ONERBA), which also brings together several networks in human medicine. Its work is therefore continuously in phase with current issues in the field of antimicrobial resistance in both humans and animals, at national and international levels.

The development of antimicrobial resistance in animal and human bacteria is a major public health issue requiring an integrated approach across all types of medicine, according to the "One Health" concept covering both humans and animals. ANSES has mobilised significant resources to combat antimicrobial resistance, in particular by coordinating the French surveillance network for antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic bacteria of animal origin (Resapath), which is devoted to monitoring resistance in bacteria responsible for infections in all animal species. Resapath is both an essential tool for monitoring animal antimicrobial resistance and a key forum for cooperation among stakeholders in human and veterinary medicine. 

Resapath's objectives

The objectives of the Resapath network are to monitor trends in the development of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria of importance in animal health (such as Escherichia coli), detect certain emergence phenomena and characterise the molecular mechanisms involved, as well as to provide methodological and scientific support to all the players involved (in the form of training days, interlaboratory tests, formulation of opinions and advice, drafting of reference standards, etc.). It also coordinates studies between laboratories.

Resapath's annual results

The Resapath network collects antibiogram data on pathogenic bacteria of animal origin in France. The antimicrobials tested by the Resapath laboratories are mainly those prescribed by veterinarians when treating sick animals. At the same time, samples are taken for bacterial isolation and an antibiogram. These antibiograms are performed in public or private veterinary testing laboratories that are members of Resapath, then the data are collected by the network. Each year, a report presents the results of the previous year on the monitoring of animal antimicrobial resistance.

See the main results of Resapath monitoring for 2019

A unique European model for monitoring resistance

Resapath encompasses 71 laboratories, covering 99 départements, and constitutes a unique model. Many other European Member States are considering setting up similar schemes to monitor their own national plans. This ambition is also reflected in Measure 39 of the interministerial roadmap, and was formalised in the European Joint Action (EU-JAMRAI) initiated in September 2017 and coordinated by France, which includes a veterinary component devoted to developing this structure on a European scale. 


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