Extended-spectrum β-lactamase/AmpC- and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in animals: a threat for humans?

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Abstract

There has been a great and long-term concern that extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)/AmpC- and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae occurring in animals may constitute a public-health issue. A large number of factors with complex interrelations contribute to the spread of those bacteria among animals and humans. ESBL/AmpC- or carbapenemase-encoding genes are most often located on mobile genetic elements favouring their dissemination. Some shared reservoirs of ESBL/AmpC or carbapenemase genes, plasmids or clones have been identified and suggest cross-transmissions. Even though exposure to animals is regarded as a risk factor, evidence for a direct transfer of ESBL/AmpC-producing bacteria from animals to humans through close contacts is limited. Nonetheless, the size of the commensal ESBL/AmpC reservoir in non-human sources is dramatically rising. This may constitute an indirect risk to public health by increasing the gene pool from which pathogenic bacteria can pick up ESBL/AmpC/carbapenemase genes. The extent to which food contributes to potential transmission of ESBL/AmpC producers to humans is also not well established. Overall, events leading to the occurrence of ESBL/AmpC- and carbapenemase-encoding genes in animals seem very much multifactorial. The impact of animal reservoirs on human health still remains debatable and unclear; nonetheless, there are some examples of direct links that have been identified.

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Madec, J. Y., Haenni, M., Nordmann, P., & Poirel, L. (2017, November 1). Extended-spectrum β-lactamase/AmpC- and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in animals: a threat for humans? Clinical Microbiology and Infection. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmi.2017.01.013

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