• Open Access

The European Union Summary Report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2011


  • European Food Safety Authority,

  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

  • Correspondence: zoonoses@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: EFSA and ECDC wish to thank the members of the Task Force on Zoonoses Data Collection and the Food and Waterborne Disease Network who provided the data and reviewed the report. Also, the contribution of EFSA's staff members: Pierre-Alexandre Belœil, Pia Mäkelä, Patrizia Oelker, Anca Stoicescu, Lucia Senini, Anne-Laure Mouffle, Ilaria Inverardi, Francesca Riolo and Kenneth Mulligan, the contributions of ECDC's staff members: Robert Whittaker, Therese Westrell and Liselott Diaz Högberg, and the contributions of EFSA's contractors: the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory Agency of the United Kingdom: Christopher Teale, Lucy Brunton, Tanya Cheney, Daisy Duncan, Peter Sewell, Ian Hillis and Ruth Blackwell and the University of Hasselt: Stijn Jaspers and Marc Aerts, as well as the reviewer: Björn Bengtsson, for the support provided to this scientific output.
  • Approval date: 15 April 2013
  • Published date: 16 May 2013
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2012-00429
  • On request from: EFSA


The antimicrobial resistance data among zoonotic and indicator bacteria in 2011, submitted by 26 European Union Member States, were jointly analysed by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Data covered resistance in zoonotic Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates from humans, food and animals, and in indicator Escherichia coli and enterococci isolates from animals and food. Data on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in animals and food were also presented. Resistance in isolates from humans were mainly interpreted using clinical breakpoints, while animal and food isolate resistance was interpreted using epidemiological cut-off values. Resistance was commonly found in isolates from humans, animals and food, although disparities in resistance were frequently observed between Member States. High resistance levels were recorded to ampicillin, tetracyclines and sulfonamides in Salmonella isolates from humans, while resistance to third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones remained low. In Salmonella and indicator Escherichia coli isolates from fowl, pigs, cattle and meat thereof, resistance to ampicillin, tetracyclines and sulfonamides was also commonly detected, while resistance to third-generation cephalosporins was low. Moderate to high resistance to (fluoro)quinolones was observed in Salmonella isolates from turkeys, fowl and broiler meat. In Campylobacter isolates from human cases, resistance to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid and tetracyclines was high, while resistance to erythromycin was low to moderate. High resistance to ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid and tetracyclines was observed in Campylobacter isolates from fowl, broiler meat, pigs and cattle, whereas much lower levels were observed for erythromycin and gentamicin. Among the indicator enterococci isolates from animals and food, resistance to tetracyclines and erythromycin was commonly detected. The report also presents for the first time results on multi-resistance and co-resistance to critically important antimicrobials in both human and animal isolates. Very few isolates from animals were co-resistant to critically important antimicrobials.