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THE European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has described evidence of resistance to the antibiotic colistin in Salmonella and Escherichia coli isolates from poultry in the European Union (EU) as ‘worrying’. Mike Catchpole, the ECDC's chief scientist, said that the data, which are reported in a recently published summary of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the European Union, could mean that the ‘last resort’ drug ‘may soon no longer be effective for treating severe human infections with Salmonella’.
The report, which was published on February 11, summarises data on AMR in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from people, animals and food in 2014. Data were submitted by 28 EU member states and three other European countries and were analysed by the ECDC and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The data for food-producing animals in 2014 specifically targeted different poultry populations (broilers, laying hens and fattening turkeys) and meat from these populations. The ECDC and EFSA say that next year's report will target pigs and cattle.
Regarding colistin resistance, the report notes that 2014 was the first year of mandatory EU monitoring for colistin resistance in Salmonella and E coli from animals, and that the results will provide a …