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Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2011 Mar-Apr;124(3-4):94-101.

Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases-producing gram-negative bacteria in companion animals: action is clearly warranted!

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Institute of Microbiology and Epizootics, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL)-producing Gram-negative bacteria pose a serious threat to Public Health in human medicine as well as increasingly in the veterinary context worldwide. Several studies reported the transmission of zoonotic multidrug resistant bacteria between food-producing animals and humans, whilst the contribution of companion animals to this scenario is rather unknown. Within the last decades a change in the social role of companion animals has taken place, resulting in a very close contact between owners and their pets. As a consequence, humans may obtain antimicrobial resistant bacteria or the corresponding resistance genes not only from food-producing animals but also via close contact to their pets.This may give rise to bacterial infections with limited therapeutic options and an increased risk of treatment failure. As beta-lactams constitute one of the most important groups of antimicrobial agents in veterinary medicine, retaliatory actions in small animal and equine practices are urgently needed. This review addresses the increasing burden of extended-spectrum beta-lactam resistance among Enterobacteriaceae isolated from companion animals. It should emphasize the urgent need for the implementation of antibiotic stewardship as well as surveillance and monitoring programs of multi resistant bacteria in particular in view of new putative infection cycles between humans and their pets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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