Affordable Access

Publisher Website

The use of aminopenicillins in animals within the EU, emergence of resistance in bacteria of animal and human origin and its possible impact on animal and human health.

  • van Duijkeren, Engeline1
  • Rantala, Merja2
  • Bouchard, Damien3
  • Busani, Luca4
  • Catry, Boudewijn5, 6
  • Kaspar, Heike7
  • Pomba, Constança8
  • Moreno, Miguel A9
  • Nilsson, Oskar10
  • Ružauskas, Modestas11
  • Sanders, Pascal12
  • Teale, Christopher13
  • Wester, Astrid L14
  • Ignate, Kristine15
  • Jukes, Helen15
  • Kunsagi, Zoltan15
  • Schwarz, Christine7, 16
  • 1 Center for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, Utrecht, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 2 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 3 French Agency for Food, Environmental, and Occupational Health and Safety, National Agency for Veterinary Medicinal Products, Fougères, France. , (France)
  • 4 Instituto Superiore di Sanita, Center for Gender-Specific Medicine, Rome, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 5 Sciensano, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Brussels, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 6 Faculty of Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 7 Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, Department Method Standardisation, Reference Laboratories, Resistance to Antibiotics, Berlin, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 8 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal. , (Portugal)
  • 9 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 10 National Veterinary Institute, SVA, Department of Animal Health and Antimicrobial Strategies, Uppsala, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 11 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania. , (Lithuania)
  • 12 French Agency for Food, Environmental, and Occupational Health and Safety, Strategy and Programme Department, Maisons-Alfort, France. , (France)
  • 13 Animal and Plant Health Agency, Weybridge, UK.
  • 14 Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway. , (Norway)
  • 15 European Medicines Agency, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 16 Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, Veterinary Drugs, Berlin, Germany. , (Germany)
Published Article
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Aug 02, 2023
DOI: 10.1093/jac/dkad157
PMID: 37229552


Aminopenicillins have been widely used for decades for the treatment of various infections in animals and humans in European countries. Following this extensive use, acquired resistance has emerged among human and animal pathogens and commensal bacteria. Aminopenicillins are important first-line treatment options in both humans and animals, but are also among limited therapies for infections with enterococci and Listeria spp. in humans in some settings. Therefore, there is a need to assess the impact of the use of these antimicrobials in animals on public and animal health. The most important mechanisms of resistance to aminopenicillins are the β-lactamase enzymes. Similar resistance genes have been detected in bacteria of human and animal origin, and molecular studies suggest that transmission of resistant bacteria or resistance genes occurs between animals and humans. Due to the complexity of epidemiology and the near ubiquity of many aminopenicillin resistance determinants, the direction of transfer is difficult to ascertain, except for major zoonotic pathogens. It is therefore challenging to estimate to what extent the use of aminopenicillins in animals could create negative health consequences to humans at the population level. Based on the extent of use of aminopenicillins in humans, it seems probable that the major resistance selection pressure in human pathogens in European countries is due to human consumption. It is evident that veterinary use of these antimicrobials increases the selection pressure towards resistance in animals and loss of efficacy will at minimum jeopardize animal health and welfare. © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected].

Report this publication


Seen <100 times