11/03/2021 1 min

What role do dogs play in the spread of antimicrobial resistance?

A project coordinated by ANSES on the role of pets in the spread of antimicrobial resistance has just been selected for funding.

More than one in two French households owns a pet. Do they play an important role in the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria? Few studies have investigated this question. The DYASPEO project (Dynamics of the spread, persistence and evolution of AMR between humans, animals and their environment) is hoping to provide some answers. It is being coordinated by ANSES and has just been selected in the first call for projects of the Priority Research Programme on antimicrobial resistance, set up by the Government and coordinated by Inserm.

The six-year project will be based on an epidemiological study of 500 dogs and the members of their households. It will examine the possibility of gut bacteria resistant to two types of antibiotics (extended-spectrum cephalosporins and carbapenems) being transferred between dogs and humans. Risk factors for acquisition, persistence and evolution of these bacteria will be determined. The project brings together specialists in human and veterinary medicine, social sciences, genomics, mathematics and modelling. Besides ANSES, the partners are the Alfort Veterinary School, the Paris Public Hospital System (AP-HP), Inserm, CNRS, the University of Clermont-Ferrand and the Institut Pasteur.

The results of the study could lead to changes in strategies for controlling the transmission of antimicrobial resistance at European level, in order to take better account of the role of pets.