Public Health Risks of Enterobacterial Isolates Producing Extended-Spectrum β-lactamases or AmpC β-lactamases in Food and Food-Producing Animals: An EU Perspective of Epidemiology, Analytical Methods, Risk Factors, and Control Options

Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Apr;56(7):1030-7. doi: 10.1093/cid/cis1043. Epub 2012 Dec 14.


The blaESBL and blaAmpC genes in Enterobacteriaceae are spread by plasmid-mediated integrons, insertion sequences, and transposons, some of which are homologous in bacteria from food animals, foods, and humans. These genes have been frequently identified in Escherichia coli and Salmonella from food animals, the most common being blaCTX-M-1, blaCTX-M-14, and blaCMY-2. Identification of risk factors for their occurrence in food animals is complex. In addition to generic antimicrobial use, cephalosporin usage is an important risk factor for selection and spread of these genes. Extensive international trade of animals is a further risk factor. There are no data on the effectiveness of individual control options in reducing public health risks. A highly effective option would be to stop or restrict cephalosporin usage in food animals. Decreasing total antimicrobial use is also of high priority. Implementation of measures to limit strain dissemination (increasing farm biosecurity, controls in animal trade, and other general postharvest controls) are also important.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic / microbiology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods
  • Communicable Disease Control / methods
  • Drug Utilization / standards
  • Enterobacteriaceae / drug effects
  • Enterobacteriaceae / enzymology*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / microbiology
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / prevention & control
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / transmission*
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / veterinary*
  • European Union
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Public Health
  • Risk Assessment
  • Zoonoses / microbiology
  • Zoonoses / transmission
  • beta-Lactam Resistance*
  • beta-Lactamases / metabolism*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • beta-Lactamases