The French surveillance network for antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic bacteria of animal origin (Resapath) monitors resistance to antibiotics in pathogenic bacteria isolated from animals. It is a groundbreaking network in Europe for monitoring the development of antimicrobial resistance.

Founded in 1982 under the name Resabo, the network was initially limited to bacteria of bovine origin. Resapath now monitors antimicrobial resistance in the main bacteria responsible for infections in all domestic animal species, whether livestock or pets.

Resapath is run jointly by two of ANSES's laboratories: Lyon and Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort. These two entities coordinate the involvement of around a hundred private and public veterinary testing laboratories that take part in the network on a voluntary basis.

Resapath's objectives

  • Monitor trends in antimicrobial resistance in bacteria of importance to animal health,
  • Detect the emergence of antimicrobial resistance and characterise its mechanisms at the molecular level,
  • Provide all the participating laboratories with methodological and scientific support.
  • Contribute to European monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic bacteria of animal origin.

How does Resapath operate?

As part of their practice, veterinarians may be required to take samples from sick animals. These samples are sent to veterinary testing laboratories to isolate the bacteria and perform antibiotic resistance tests known as antibiograms. Resapath collects all these results from its member laboratories and carries out the statistical analyses important for determining trends in antimicrobial resistance.

Surveillance results

Resapath monitors the main pathogenic bacteria in animals, including Escherichia coli, which is the bacterial species most commonly reported in the antibiograms it receives. Given its frequency, and its ability to acquire and transmit resistance genes to other bacteria, E. coli is a good overall indicator of antimicrobial resistance.

The network pays particular attention to the development of resistance to so-called "critical" antibiotics, used in human medicine as a last resort.  Multidrug resistance, referring to bacteria that are resistant to several antibiotics, is also closely monitored, as it can lead to therapeutic "dead-ends"

Integrated monitoring

The development of antimicrobial resistance is a major public health issue. It requires an integrated approach according to the "One Health" concept, covering humans, animals and the environment. Resapath is both an essential tool for monitoring antimicrobial resistance in bacteria of animal origin and a key forum for cooperation between human and veterinary medicine stakeholders.

Find out about all ANSES's activities in antimicrobial resistance

A model in Europe

Resapath also works closely with its European and international counterparts. Since 2019, in partnership with 12 European countries and various European institutions, it has been coordinating an initiative to develop a European network for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in veterinary medicine (EARS-Vet).

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