The implications if food poisoning bacteria develop complete resistant to one or more of the common types of antibiotics is just too frightening to really consider. Therefore there are regular tests of food poisoning bacteria reactions to the common type of antibiotics to determine the level of resistance.
The latest results from the USA have some good news and some not so good.
The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) is a partnership between The Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designed to track the antibiotic resistance of the food poisoning bacteria; Salmonella, Campylobacter, Enterococcus and E. coli bacteria.
The latest NARMS report has just been released based on 2011 data, and shows a general trend toward less antibiotic resistance than previously.
The following is a summary of the report;
- Of the non- typhoidal Salmonella collected 85 percent had no resistance to any of the tested antibiotics.
- The Salmonella collected from humans and both slaughtered swine and chickens is at the lowest multi-drug resistance level in the 16 years that NARMS testing has been in place.
- In retail poultry the multi-drug resistance by Salmonella has increased generally since the last testing.
- Over the 16 years of NARMS testing, the resistance by Salmonella to one of the most common antibiotics used in humans (ciprofloxacin) has generally been low – less than three percent.
- Resistance to another important Salmonella antibiotic treatment class, the cephalosporins, has risen between 2008 and 2011.
- Erythromycin, used for treating infections from Campylobacter species, resistance by that bacteria remained at less than four percent.
- When enrofloxacin is used for Campylobacter jejuni, there was a 22 percent resistance, which is a rise of six percent from 2002.
- If tetracycline is used against E.coli in various meats, there were significant levels of resistance (80 percent in ground turkey, 18 percent in ground beef and 47 percent in pork chops).
The report shows both good news and bad, and therefore highlights that more and continual work is needed to find antibiotic alternatives for use in feedlots and animal feed.
Written by Rachelle Williams, The Green Food Safety Coach.