New report published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) states that the use of whole genome sequencing can improve the way antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is monitored in food and animals.
Ahead of the revised legislation on AMR monitoring that is due to come into force in 2021, EFSA suggests that these methods could gradually be introduced into Member State monitoring activities.
The Authority’s report also highlights the need to monitor AMR in seafood, about which little is known. This is linked to the recent expansion of aquaculture production and the increase in imported products to the EU.
In addition, EFSA gives recommendations on sample sizes and suggests monitoring of resistance to antibiotics that have become relevant for public health and that are not currently monitored. This will allow better detection of possible new mechanisms of resistance. Monitoring is a critical component of the response to AMR and is one of the priorities of the EU action plan on AMR.