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Antibiotic resistance in foodborne germs remains a threat

Antibiotic resistance in foodborne germs continues to be an ongoing threat, according to data tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012. Each year, antibiotic-resistant infections from foodborne germs cause an estimated 430,000 illnesses in the U.S. Multi-drug resistant Salmonella, from food and other sources, causes about 100,000 illnesses in the U.S. each year, according to a news release.

Data from 2012 showed that multi-drug resistant Salmonella decreased during the past 10 years and resistance to two groups of drugs — cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones — remained low in 2012. Yet, in typhoid-fever causing Salmonella typhi, resistance to quinolone drugs increased to 68% in 2012, raising concerns that one of the common treatments for typhoid fever may not work in many cases.

About 1 in 5 Salmonella Heidelberg infections was resistant to ceftriaxone, a cephalapsorin drug. This is the same Salmonella serotype that has been linked to recent outbreaks associated with poultry. Ceftriaxone resistance makes severe Salmonella infections harder to treat, especially in children, according to the release.

The data are part of the latest report of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, which tracks antibiotic resistance to germs in humans, retail meats, and food animals. The report from CDC NARMS compares resistance levels in human samples in 2012 to a baseline period of 2003-2007.

“Infections with antibiotic-resistant germs are often more severe,” Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH, deputy director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, said in the release. “These data will help doctors prescribe treatments that work and to help CDC and our public health partners identify and stop outbreaks caused by resistant germs faster and protect people’s health.”

The report also introduces a new method for interpreting Campylobacter data and includes links to online interactive graphs where users can choose an organism and an antibiotic and see the “bug-drug” trends from year-to-year in NARMS.

CDC NARMS monitors antibiotic resistance among clinical isolates of six types of common foodborne germs reported from all 50 states. In 2012, NARMS tested more than 5,000 isolates for antibiotic resistance.

View the full 2012 NARMS report at

By | 2014-08-08T00:00:00-04:00 August 8th, 2014|Categories: National|0 Comments

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