The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published a report on Monday of antimicrobial resistance findings in Salmonella isolates collected from livestock and poultry ceca during 2014, covering the first full year of the cecal sampling program.  FSIS collects and analyzes cecal samples as a partner in the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), an inter-agency effort with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to monitor antimicrobial resistance trends in the United States.  The Agency tests for bacterial species of potential food safety concern, specifically: Salmonella, Campylobacter, generic Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus.  The report covers results analyzed from Salmonella testing.

Key findings for 2014 included the isolation of Salmonella from 21.5% of cecal samples, with 66% of the isolates being pan-susceptible (not resistant to any antimicrobials in the NARMS testing panel).  Specific to poultry, the report found:

  • The highest proportion of resistant Salmonella isolates were found in turkey samples (76%);
  • The highest proportion of resistant Salmonella Typhimurium isolates were collected from chicken samples (49%); and,
  • Ten Salmonella Heidelberg isolates were collected from poultry, with seven pan-susceptible isolates being from chicken and three multi-drug resistant samples from turkey.

The report noted that from 2011 to 2014, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Heidelberg, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-, Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Infantis, and Salmonella Newport were associated with foodborne illness investigations.  Though the report found that 17 of the 19 isolates of Salmonella Enteritidis were from chicken, it also found that all of those isolates were pan-susceptible.  Overall, 575 cecal samples were collected for chickens, and 17.9% of the samples were Salmonella positive.  Only four of the total 1,077 samples (0.4%) across all livestock and poultry production classes were found to be extremely drug resistant (resistant to all or all but one of the antimicrobial classes tested).  The extremely drug resistant samples were isolated from one market swine, one turkey, and two dairy cows.

A link to the full USDA-FSIS NARMS report may be found here.