Archive for the ‘Industry Briefings’ Category

Levels of AMR Campylobacter in UK retail chickens remain steady

On 31 January, the Year 3 results were published of a survey to identify the proportion of Campylobacter isolated from the FSA’s UK retail chicken survey that were resistant to a range of antimicrobial agents.

The survey tested a subset of the Campylobacter isolates (Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli strains) from Year 3 of the UK retail chicken survey for AMR. Overall, the proportions of AMR Campylobacter isolates found in this study were similar to those reported in the previous survey year (July 2015 to July 2016), although the percentage of C. coli isolates with resistance to erythromycin was lower. Multi-drug resistance was similar to that found in the previous survey years. Read the press release here.

Re-categorisation of antimicrobials proposed by EMA’s AMEG

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has released a consultation on its updated scientific advice on the categorisation of antibiotics. This new classification includes all classes of antimicrobials and comprises four categories from A to D, each with a key action word attributed for more clarity.

The EMA’s Antimicrobial Advice ad hoc Expert Group (AMEG) monitors and evaluates the risks of using antibiotics in animals.It is the only agency to examine this in light of antimicrobial resistance developments in animals, the possible transmission of resistance to humans, and the availability of alternative treatments to safeguard animal welfare.

This proposed reclassification is of significant importance to the UK as the Veterinary Medicines Directorate follows the EMA’s guidance, and does RUMA and its members (with the exception of a few species-specific modifications).

Under the new proposals:

  • Category A (“Avoid”) includes antimicrobial classes not currently authorised in veterinary medicine in the EU.
  • Category B (“Restrict”) refers to quinolones, 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins and polymyxins (colistin). Use of these antimicrobials in animals should be restricted to mitigate the risk to public health.
  • The new Category C (“Caution”) covers antimicrobials for which, in general, alternatives in human medicine in the EU exist, but in veterinary medicine there are only few alternatives in certain indications. These antimicrobials should only be used when there are no antimicrobial substances in Category D that would be effective, and include Aminoglycosides, Aminopenciliins in combination with β-lactamase inhibitors, Lincosamides, Macrolides and Pleuromutilins.
  • Category D (“Prudence”) is the lowest risk category. Antimicrobials belonging to this category can be used in animals in a prudent manner.

The deadline for comments on these proposals is 30 April. The document including the draft advice can be accessed here and we also have a Summary of the draft EMA AMEG guidelines.

Updated UK One Health report released

An updated UK One Health report covering antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance in animals and humans was released on 31 January. This long-awaited review showed how human and veterinary medicine in the UK has progressed since 2013 on the One Health challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

The last One Health report indicated that 45% of antibiotics in the UK were used to treat all animals. In 2017, this fell to 36%. Overall, 26% of total tonnes used in people and animals was specifically for food-producing animals. Furthermore, out of the total tonnes of highest priority Critically Important Antibiotics used to treat diseases in humans and animals, 22% was used in animals in 2013 and 11% in 2017.

The report also shows we are seeing a reduction in the level of resistance to critical antibiotics in zoonotic bacteria from food-producing animals and retail meat. RUMA’s response can be found here.

New AMR strategy launched

On 24 January, the government published its 20-year vision and 5-year national action plan for how the UK will contribute to containing and controlling AMR by 2040.

The plans include targets such as cutting the number of drug-resistant infections by 10% (5,000 infections) by 2025 and reducing the use of antibiotics in humans by 15%. Progress in the UK farm animal sector – namely reducing sales by 40% since 2013 – was acknowledged, as were existing plans to reduce, refine or replace antibiotic use up to 2020, which are anticipated to result in further overall reductions.

RUMA welcomed the strategy and confirmed that the voluntary, industry-led approach to refining antibiotic use was ‘alive and well’. The Government press release can be accessed here. Responses have also been issued by the British Veterinary Association and NOAH.

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