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In the study 2004/2005, the current quantitative resistance level of Escherichia coli, Pasteurella multocida, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella sp. and Staphylococcus aureus from chickens and turkeys was determined for the first time within the framework of the National Resistance Monitoring of the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). The objective was to implement a valid database on the basis of which the development and spread of resistance can be evaluated and monitored. During the investigation period from January 2004 to February 2005,927 strains were collected and 857 (92%) bacteria strains which corresponded to the specifications of the study protocol were tested with the broth microdilution method to determine the in vitro susceptibility (minimum inhibitory concentration) to 22 to 28 antimicrobial agents or antibiotic combinations. The results document a prevalence of resistance that exceeds that of bacterial pathogens of other animal species, especially in the case of tetracycline. Apart for S. aureus, clinical resistance to fluoroquinolones can still be considered low in poultry pathogens (E. coli approx. 2%). By applying the MICG of 4 mg/L for enrofloxacin, a susceptibility of approximately 78 % was calculated for S. aureus. A comparison of the prevalence of resistance between chickens and turkeys, showed that a slightly higher prevalence of resistance can be expected in turkeys. Differences between the susceptibility data of chicks and adult animals could only be found in turkeys. In the case of E. coli, the prevalence of resistance of strains isolated from adult turkeys was up to 10% higher than those isolated from chicks for the corresponding antimicrobial agents. It must be pointed out that the number of E. coli strains from adult turkeys was much higher (n = 194) than the number from turkey chicks (n = 21). The results indicate clearly that in a resistance monitoring system it is necessary to categorise poultry by animal species (chicken, turkey) as well as by production stage and type (broiler, laying hen), so that the epidemiology of resistance can be correctly represented and evaluated. This information is the basis for the development of long-term management options for minimizing antibiotic resistance. Furthermore, the knowledge of prevailing resistance levels in Germany is a valuable tool for veterinary practitioners when determining an empirical therapy. The data collected by the BVL make an important contribution to the optimisation of the safety of food from animals, and thus to improving consumer protection.


Jürgen Wallmann, Ulrike Schröer, Heike Kaspar. Quantitative resistance level (MIC) of bacterial pathogens (Escherichia coli, Pasteurella multocida, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella sp., Staphylococcus aureus) isolated from chickens and turkeys: national resistance monitoring by the BVL 2004/2005. Berliner und Münchener tierärztliche Wochenschrift. 2007 Sep-Oct;120(9-10):452-63

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PMID: 17939460

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