According to a report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) can improve the way antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is monitored in food and animals. EFSA suggests that these methods could be introduced into member state monitoring activities ahead of revised legislation on AMR monitoring due to come into force in 2021.
The report 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 into the EU. The importance of understanding how AMR emerges and spreads in the environment where food is produced or processed is an area that requires more investigation and will be followed up by EFSA.
The report gives recommendations on sample sizes and suggests monitoring of resistance to antibiotics relevant for public health, particularly those that are not currently monitored, in order to allow better detection of possible new mechanisms of resistance.
Source: EFSA, 5 June 2019