IDReC researchers Publish Review of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae in New Zealand Dairy Farm Environments

Rose Collis and co-authors present a review of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in dairy farm environments with a New Zealand perspective. This review is published in a special edition of the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease that focuses on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of foodborne pathogens on dairy farms.

AMR is a global issue for both human and animal health, and inappropriate antimicrobial use is thought to be the main driver of increased incidence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Increasing levels of antimicrobial use in food production animals and the subsequent development and spread of AMR, especially in poultry and swine production, has been identified as a food safety risk, but the risks associated with dairy production systems are unknown. Several AMR transmission pathways between dairy cattle, the environment and humans have been proposed such as contact with faeces-contaminated environments or via direct contact (for example, farmers are at high risk during close contact with animals during milking or calving). However, the actual contribution of each pathway is undetermined.

Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) are of particular concern to human health. ESBL enzymes can break down commonly used antibiotics such as penicillin and cephalosporins, which may result in persistent infections. ESBL-E have also been associated with dairy cattle and the wider farm environment as well as animal-derived food products. This review addresses the current understanding of dairy farming in the prevalence and transmission of AMR, highlighting research gaps using ESBL-E as an exemplar; and secondly, a New Zealand dairy farm systems perspective is used to examine how farm management practices and on-farm antimicrobial use may contribute to increased levels of AMR in dairy cattle.

The full publication can be found at

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