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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2008 Oct;6(5):733-50. doi: 10.1586/14787210.6.5.733.

Resistance in bacteria of the food chain: epidemiology and control strategies.

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National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen V, Denmark.


Bacteria have evolved multiple mechanisms for the efficient evolution and spread of antimicrobial resistance. Modern food production facilitates the emergence and spread of resistance through the intensive use of antimicrobial agents and international trade of both animals and food products. The main route of transmission between food animals and humans is via food products, although other modes of transmission, such as direct contact and through the environment, also occur. Resistance can spread as resistant pathogens or via transferable genes in different commensal bacteria, making quantification of the transmission difficult. The exposure of humans to antimicrobial resistance from food animals can be controlled by either limiting the selective pressure from antimicrobial usage or by limiting the spread of the bacteria/genes. A number of control options are reviewed, including drug licensing, removing financial incentives, banning or restricting the use of certain drugs, altering prescribers behavior, improving animal health, improving hygiene and implementing microbial criteria for certain types of resistant pathogens for use in the control of trade of both food animals and food.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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