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Assessment of the Contribution made by the Food Chain to the Problem of Quinolone Resistance in Micro-organisms Causing Human Infections Relative to Other Pathways

Institutions
Veterinary Laboratories Agency, UK
Start date
2002
End date
2005
Objective
This research project will assess the contribution of the food chain to the problem of quinolone resistance in micro-organisms causing human infection relative to other pathways.

The aim of this project is to assess the contribution of the food chain to the problems of quinolone resistance in micro-organisms causing human infection relative to other pathways. The assessment will be undertaken using microbiological risk assessment that will follow a number of distinct steps:

  • Hazard identification
  • Exposure assessment for a number of pathways (e.g. food chain, human medical use, imported foods, foreign travel and environmental pathways)
  • Hazard characterisation and risk characterisation, in order to assess the contribution of the food pathways.

The specific objectives for this project are to:

  1. Estimate the relative importance of the food chain, compared to other pathways, to the risk of human infection with quinolone-resistant campylobacter.
  2. Estimate the relative importance of the environment, compared to other pathways, to the risk of human infection with quinolone-resistant campylobacter.
  3. Estimate the relative importance of foreign travel and human use of ciprofloxacin (Cp), compared to other pathways, to the risk of human infection with quinolone-resistant campylobacter.
  4. Identify all routes of possible human quinolone-resistant campylobacter infection and, where possible, how resistance was acquired at the source of each route.
  5. Identify knowledge gaps leading to high uncertainty and thus direct future research.
  6. Carry out sensitivity analysis in order to determine which factors have the largest effect on the size of the contribution of the different pathways.
More information
Quinolones are an example of a powerful class of antimicrobials that are used to treat bacterial infections in both animals and humans and have been associated with the emergence of antimicrobial resistant micro-organisms.

This project aims to assess the contribution made by the food chain to the problem of quinolone resistance in campylobacter using quantitative microbiological risk assessment, a scientific tool that can be used to evaluate the level of exposure and the subsequent risk to human health.

The exposure pathways to be considered are poultry (including chickens and turkeys), pigs, human use of quinolones, foreign travel and environmental sources, as well as the contribution of cattle and sheep to the environmental pathways.

Sensitivity analysis will be undertaken to determine which factors have the largest effect on the size of the contribution of the different pathways.

The final report, "Assessment of the Contribution made by the Food Chain to the Problem of Quinolone Resistance in Micro-organisms Causing Human Infections" is available at Foodbase, an open access repository of the FSA.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
B10004
Categories
Preventive Food Safety Systems
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game