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UCD Centre for Food Safety

Ionad Sábháilteachta Bia UCD

Antimicrobial resistance in commensal organisms in dairy, pig and poultry production in Ireland as a reservoir of resistance for animal and zoonotic pathogens

The increase of antibiotic resistance in bacteria of animal origin is a global problem (Aerestrup 2004).  Limited data on resistance in a number of veterinary pathogens have been accumulated from recent projects conducted by CVRL, DAF, but there is no national strategy on antimicrobial resistance in animals.

The absence of data on the potential role of indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli and Enterococci) as vectors of resistance gene transfer from animal-to-animal and animal-to-human, is a major gap in knowledge and was one of the reasons for the total withdrawal of four growth promoters from animal usage in the EU since 2006. A further gap in our understanding of AMR in the RoI is the absence of any data correlating the risk of resistance with the use of various antibiotics in different animal and poultry species. 

  • This project will generate data on levels of phenotypic resistance in indicator bacteria (E. coli and Enterococci) in farm animals and poultry in Ireland, together with information on antibiotic use at individual farm level.
  • Genotypic data will be obtained which will enable assessment of the role of indicator bacteria in the transfer of resistance between animals and between animals and man.
  • Information on current prescribing practices by veterinarians will be generated.
  • A small group of practitioners will be set up and will monitor their own prescribing relative to AMR data generated from animals they treat.
  • Guidelines on prescribing practice for Irish veterinarians will be drawn up utilising all data generated.

- Ms Maria Karczmarczyk

Funding Agency: The Department of Agriculture and Food

UCD Veterinary Microbiology
UCD Biosystems Engineering
Cork County Council
Cork Institute of Technology
CVRL, Backweston

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PCR gel