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Salmonella resistance in poultry corresponds to antibiotic consumption in food animals

Salmonella resistance in poultry corresponds to antibiotic consumption in food animals

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1990 to 2012, live poultry has been linked to 45 Salmonella outbreaks. The highest number of these outbreaks occurred in 2012, during which eight Salmonella outbreaks linked to live poultry were reported. Overall, these outbreaks in the US have caused 1,563 illnesses, 221 hospitalizations, and five deaths.

In the latest outbreak of Salmonella via chicken, over 360 people in 21 states and Puerto Rico have been infected, with 38% of those infected being hospitalized. The strains of Salmonella Heidelberg causing this outbreak have also been found to be resistant to a number of antibiotics. Among the ten isolates analyzed by the CDC s NARMS laboratory, nine have been proven to be resistant to one or more commonly used antibiotics, with three isolates exhibiting multidrug-resistance. In the update on the outbreak, the CDC warns – Antimicrobial resistance may increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

When the outbreak started, The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming compiled a drug-by-drug analysis based on data from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Their table provides information on the overall amount of antibiotics in a class sold for use in food animals, along with information on the percentage of Salmonella in retail chicken found resistant to an antibiotic in that drug class during 2011. The data also provides additional information on whether an antibiotic is approved for use in food animals and if an antibiotic has been approved for growth promotion or routine disease prevention in chickens. In this graphic, we visualize the data featured in the Pew report. The visualization indicates that the percentage of antibiotic-resistance Salmonella in poultry corresponds to antibiotic consumption in food animals.

Please note that the antibiotic consumption values are for the antibiotic class, while the percentage of drug-resistant Salmonella is for a specific antibiotic in that class.