Antimicrobial Resistance Challenges in New Zealand

The March 2017 issue of the New Zealand Veterinary Journal focuses on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and features papers authored by several researchers in IDReC.

Leah Toombs-Ruane and co-authors present a review of multidrug resistant Enterobacteriaceae in New Zealand. Enterobacteriaceae include familiar pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella enterica. One AMR mechanism commonly employed by these bacteria is the production of the beta-lactamase enzyme, specifically extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) enzymes. These have the ability to break down commonly used antibiotics, such as penicillin and cephalosporin, and render them ineffective for treatment, thus increasing the severity and duration of infections. In addition to ESBL-production, these strains are often associated with other mechanisms of resistance, causing them to be multidrug resistant. The review describes the mechanisms and potential transmission pathways of MDR in Enterobacteriaceae which include interactions among humans, animals and the environment. Accordingly, the authors advocate a One Health approach for controlling AMR that includes increased surveillance of resistant bacteria, monitoring antimicrobial use and antimicrobial stewardship.

 In the same issue of the NZVJ is an accompanying commentary by the authors of the above review. The commentary expands upon the message of utilising a One Health framework when tacking the challenges presented by antimicrobial resistance.

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