animal health | Antibiotic resistance: why the French should be afraid of their dogs or cats rather than their plates


Antibiotics are needed to treat sick animals.. We can’t do without them entirely, but the evolution of breeding methods and awareness of resistance has led to a very strong reduction in the use of antibiotics on farms in France. Today we are at a very low level and it will be difficult to fall hard again. Gilles Salvat, Deputy Director General of ANSES Research and Reference Division, explains on the occasion of the publication of annual reports on antimicrobial resistance in animal health. One of the priorities of the National Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Health and Safety for decades has been the fight against antibiotic resistance in farm and domestic animals in France. Antibiotic resistance results from the use of antibiotics leading to the selection of bacteria that can resist them and infect humans through direct contact or through the food chain or the environment.

Ecoantibio plans 1 and 2 (Extended to 2022, editor’s note) they were successful thanks to the exemplary mobilization of breeders and veterinarians. We are preparing the 3rd plan » Welcome to Gilles Salvat on the occasion of the European Antibiotic Resistance Information Day. As a result of a decade’s effort, the overall level of antibiotic resistance in animals continues to decline,” However, we should not relax our vigilance, as evidenced by the trend reversal observed in some animal species, and particularly domestic animals, in recent years. “.

What should we remember from the 2021 balance sheet?

  • The amount of veterinary antibiotics sold increased from 1,311 tons in 1999 to 415 tons in 2020. (compared to 422 tons in 2019). This is a two-thirds reduction in tonnages.
  • Overall animal exposure to antibiotics has decreased by 45.4% since 2011, especially thanks to the sharp decline in medicated premixes. All species are involved: cattle (-22.5%), pigs (-55.5%), poultry (-64.4%), rabbits (-39.9%), and to a lesser extent cats and dogs (-11.8%). However, this reduction seems to have reached a limit and exposure of animals to antibiotics stable or slightly increased » depending on the genre. so if exhibition continued to decline between 2019 and 2020 for poultry and swine (-9.7% and -3.2% respectively), increased in rabbits (+2.5%), cattle (+2.9%), and especially cats and dogs (+5.1%).

    © ANSES

  • The use of critical antibiotics important to human medicine in livestock continues to decline. Like this ” Since 2013, the use of fluoroquinolones has decreased by 87.3% (with a significant decrease for cattle, swine and poultry), while the use of cephalosporins has decreased by 3.and and 4andgeneration fell 94.3% (with a significant decrease in cattle and pigs) Points out Gérard Moulin, deputy director of the National Agency for Veterinary Medicinal Products. For colistin, another antibiotic closely watched for its importance in the treatment of certain human infections, the exposure was 66% lower than the baseline for 2014-2015. However, ANSES notes an increase in oral exposure to colistin observed in cattle over the past year.

    © ANSES

  • These data were supported by a survey conducted this year by ANSES-ANMV among 467 veterinarians.Most practitioners reported that antibiotic prescriptions for rabbits, pigs and poultry decreased between 2019 and 2020. Underlines ANSES, prescriptions for other pets have remained stable. The use of vaccines or alternative treatments such as phytotherapy or aromatherapy has allowed them to reduce the use of antibiotics. Regarding cattle, some vets reported giving them more antibiotics due to respiratory illnesses and weather conditions favoring mastitis “.
  • On the other hand, ANSES recorded an 8.6% increase in turnover for medicinal products for dogs and cats between 2019 and 2020. An increase that may be due to Covid-19 and quarantine is the aftercare of certain pathologies due to homeowners paying more attention to their pets or postponing surgical interventions.
  • As for the antibiotic resistance itself, the results of 51,736 antibiograms collected in 2020 by the epidemiological surveillance network for antibiotic resistance in animal pathogenic bacteria (Resapath) show a decrease in the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. ” The antibiotic resistance rate for cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones is less than 8%.According to Jean-Yves Madec, the network’s scientific director, margins of progress on certain antibiotics for poultry and vigilance required for pets and horses (3-fold increase in resistance to cephalosporins)and and 4and generation) “. ANSES highlights a particularly marked increase (more than 40%) in resistance to amoxicillin for cats in 2020 (compared to 30% in 2018). The agency also highlights an increase in multi-resistant strains of bacteria collected from horses between 2011 and 2020, even if rates do not exceed 9% in 2020.
  • It’s about three groups of bacteria that infect humans and are closely watched in Europe. for salmonella“little or no resistance to antibiotics critical to human health” ANSES notes that more than half of the strains isolated from pigs, calves or turkeys are resistant to tetracycline.. Sulfonamide resistance levels were high in calves (34.9%) and very high in pigs (58.8%). In addition, 44.1% of the strains isolated in pigs were resistant to ampicillin. For Campylobacter, resistance to antibiotics decreases in chickens (-9%) and turkeys (-15%), but resistance to fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines remains high in chickens (67.8% and 63.7%, respectively). Finally, susceptibility to all antibiotics tested for Escherichia coli is increased (54% in turkeys, 48% in chickens, and 40% in calves), but resistance to ampicillin increases in pigs.

Hands should be washed before and after touching the pet

In the future, to strengthen the fight against antibiotic resistance, ANSES announces launch of Dyaspeo project (dynamics of the persistence and evolution of antibiotic resistance spread among humans, animals and their environment). Goal: “ explain the role of pets in the spread of antibiotic resistance In France, one out of every two households owns at least one pet. “Skin infections in dogs and cats can be a problem with bacteria that can be transmitted to humans. He points to Gilles Salvat. Sociologists will study the behavior of men with their pets. ” Hands should be washed before and after touching the pet “This is part of the basic advice,” he continues, “remembers Gilles Salvat.



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