[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 7-Jul-2008
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Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-020-707-94804
BioMed Central

European league-tables for antibiotic resistance revealed

Tests of antibiotic resistance in cattle have revealed stark variation across thirteen European countries. The results, published today in BioMed Central's open-access journal Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, show that major differences were apparent in the occurrence of resistance between countries and between the different antimicrobial agents tested.

In general, bacteria from Denmark, England (and Wales), the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland showed low frequencies of resistance, whereas many cultures from Belgium, France, Latvia and Spain were resistant to most antimicrobials tested. The study was led by Rene S. Hendriksen from the Technical University of Denmark. He said, "The differences in resistance may reflect the differences in antimicrobial use between countries and veterinarians".

Hendriksen added, "Antimicrobial resistance is an increasingly important problem among several bacterial species. The problem has become so critical in some of these species that there are few treatment options left".

Of major concern is the level of resistance found in Staphylococcus aureus to antibiotics previously thought to be effective. The prevalence of oxacillin resistance in Spain and France and the resistance towards cephalosporins indicate the presence of methicillin resistant S.aureus (MRSA) in these two countries. Furthermore, the authors found a frightening number of resistant samples of Escherichia Coli in France, Spain, Italy and Belgium. According to Hendriksen, "The seemingly emerging occurrence of resistance to important antimicrobial agents in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain is worrying. These four countries had the highest frequency of resistance to most antimicrobial agents, potentially making treatment difficult."

The same authors recently published a similar report in Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, which showed that antibacterial resistance in pigs also varies by country.

Based on the results of both of these studies, the authors recommend that, "The treatment of infected animals has to be based on local knowledge and observed local resistance patterns".

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Notes to Editors

  1. Prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among bacterial pathogens isolated from cattle in different European countries: 2002-2004

    Rene S Hendriksen, Dik J Mevius, Andreas Schroeter, Christopher Teale, Daniele Meunier, Patrick Butaye, Alessia Franco, Andra Utinane, Alice Amado, Miguel Moreno, Christina Greko, Katharina Stark, Christian Berghold, Anna-Liisa Myllyniemi, Dariusz Wasyl, Marianne Sunde and Frank M Aarestrup

    Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica

    During embargo, article available here:
    http://www.actavetscand.com/imedia/1329498098174956_article.pdf?random=441945

    After the embargo, article available at journal website:
    http://www.actavetscand.com/

    Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

    Article citation and URL available on request at press@biomedcentral.com on the day of publication.

  2. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal that encompasses all aspects of veterinary research and medicine of domestic and wild animals.

    It is the official journal of the Veterinary Associations of the Nordic Countries, and was founded in 1959 as a traditional print journal, but has taken the novel step of moving to an open access publishing model.

  3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an independent online publishing house committed to providing immediate access without charge to the peer-reviewed biological and medical research it publishes. This commitment is based on the view that open access to research is essential to the rapid and efficient communication of science.


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