Scientists from two European Union food safety agencies compiled the first joint EU report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria, such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, affecting humans, animals and food.

Compiled by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the report indicates that resistance to antimicrobials was observed in zoonotic bacteria, which may cause infectious diseases found in foods that can be transmitted between animals and humans. The report also presents antimicrobial resistance data for non-disease causing bacteria, such as indicator E. coli and Enterococci, that do not usually cause disease in humans.

The report, based on 2009 data, found Campylobacter was highly resistant resistant to ciprofloxacin in chickens and pigs. The report also indicated high levels of Salmonella resistance for ampicillin, tetracycline and sulphonamide in pigs and pig meat, cattle and chicken meat.  

"Our shared aim is to harmonize the surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in infections that are transmitted between animals and humans. This information is critical to inform decisions on the control of antimicrobial resistant infections that affect a growing number of people across Europe," said Mark Sprenger, ECDC director.

A summary of the report's findings is available online from EFSA.