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ANTIBIOTIC resistance is a major concern for both human and animal populations (WHO 2014). A major reason for resistance of Enterobacteriaceae to the more recently developed β-lactam antibiotics is due to the selection of genes for the production of extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and AmpC β-lactamases (Dhanji and others 2010). In the UK, the types of ESBL enzyme most frequently reported from human Escherichia coli isolates are CTX-M-15 and CTX-M-14 and closely related types, whereas CTX-M-1 was predominant in a survey of broilers from Great Britain GB performed in 2008 (Randall and others 2011). Early studies in the Netherlands of the occurrence of ESBL-producing E coli (ESBL E coli) and AmpC-producing E coli (AmpC E coli) in poultry and human beings suggested a direct link between ESBLs in poultry and those in human beings (Overdevest and others 2011). However more recent work would suggest that there is significant clonal difference in those ESBL E coli common in poultry and those found in humans and therefore the role of poultry and poultry meat in the transfer of ESBLs to humans is less important than other sources (De Been and others 2013; Jakobsen and others 2015). This study was performed using similar methods to that used by Randall in the 2008 survey (Randall and others 2011), and aimed to investigate the prevalence and types of ESBL enzymes which were present in ESBL E coli recovered from broiler caecal samples at slaughter in Great Britain.
For this study, broiler caecal samples (n=125) were collected over a four-month period, October 2014 to January 2015, and were a subset of samples from a larger survey being tested at the Animal and Plant Health Agency for the presence of Campylobacter as part of a Food Standards Agency (FSA) survey. The original sampling schedule was …