• Open Access

The European Union Summary Report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2012


  • 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 Scientific Network for Zoonoses Monitoring Data, former Task Force on Zoonoses Data Collection (EFSA) and the Food and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses Network (ECDC) who provided the data and reviewed the report. Also, the contribution of EFSA's staff members: Pierre-Alexandre Belœil, Pia Mäkelä, Anca Stoicescu, Valentina Rizzi, Anne-Laure Moufle, Roisin Rooney, Kenneth Mulligan, Francesca Riolo, Mario Monguidi, Saghir Bashir, Angela Cohen, Gina Cioacata and Klaudia Chrzastek, the contributions of ECDC's staff members: Therese Westrell, Johanna Takkinen and Liselott Diaz Högberg, and the contributions of EFSA's contractors: the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory Agency of the United Kingdom: Sarah Easthope, Catherine Tallentire and Christopher Teale, and the University of Hasselt: Stijn Jaspers and Marc Aerts, for the support provided to this scientific output.
  • Approval date: 24 February 2014
  • Published date: 25 March 2014
  • Correction date: 18 July 2014
  • Correction/Erratum: Changes have been made to human data in the Campylobacter chapter where resistance levels to ciprofloxacin in Iceland have been modified in Tables CA2 and CA4. In addition, text revision has been done in text boxes related to the revision of epidemiological cut-off values presented in the Introduction part on page 12, in the E. coli chapter on page 201, and in Materials and methods chapter on page 248. The changes do not affect the main findings and the overall discussion of the report. To avoid any confusion the original version of the output has been removed from the website but is available on request.
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2013-00214
  • On request from: EFSA


The antimicrobial resistance data among zoonotic and indicator bacteria in 2012, submitted by 26 European Union Member States, were jointly analysed by the EFSA and the ECDC. Resistance in zoonotic Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates from humans, animals and food and resistance in indicator Escherichia coli,as well as data on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, in animals and food were addressed. Resistance in human isolates was mainly interpreted using clinical breakpoints, while microbiological resistance in animal and food isolates was assessed using epidemiological cut-off values. Resistance was commonly found in isolates from humans, animals and food, although marked disparities in resistance were frequently observed between Member States. In Salmonella from humans, high resistance levels were recorded to ampicillin, sulfonamides and tetracyclines, while resistance to third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones remained low. In Salmonella and Escherichia coli isolates from fowl, pigs, cattle and meat thereof, microbiological resistance to ampicillin, tetracyclines and sulfonamides was commonly detected, while microbiological resistance to third-generation cephalosporins was generally low. High to very high microbiological resistance to (fluoro)quinolones was observed in Salmonella isolates from turkeys, fowl and broiler meat. In Campylobacter from humans, resistance to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid and tetracyclines was high, while resistance to erythromycin was low to moderate. High to extremely high microbiological 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. Increasing trends for ciprofloxacin resistance was observed in Campylobacter isolates from humans, broilers and/or pigs in several Member States. Multi-resistance and co-resistance to critically important antimicrobials in both human and animal isolates were presented, and for the first time, multi-resistance patterns in Salmonella serovars. Very few isolates from animals were co-resistant to critically important antimicrobials. A minority of isolates from animals belonging to a few Salmonella serovars (notably Kentucky and Infantis) were resistant to high levels of ciprofloxacin.