WASHINGTON- A new report based on data collected through the  US Food and Drug Administration’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), indicates positive progress has been made with regard to the presence and antibiotic-resistance of Salmonella, especially in retail poultry products, while genetic evidence of drug resistance was found in for the first time in retail red meat and some poultry products. The 2014-2015 Retail Meat Interim Report contains data from January 2014 to June 2015.   

Among the highlights of this retail-focused NARMS report, the rate of Salmonella poultry products are at the lowest point since 2002, when testing began. The prevalence of Salmonella in ground turkey at retail decreased from a high of 19 percent in 2008 to 6 percent in 2014, while the pathogen in chicken products dropped from a high of 15 percent to 9 percent during the same period.

Other positive trends in the report included:

•Salmonella resistance to ceftriaxone from chicken sources continued to decline from 38 percent in retail chicken meats in 2009 to 18 percent in 2014, and as low as 5 percent during the first half of 2015. In ground turkey isolates, ceftriaxone resistance declined 80 percent since 2011 when resistance reached a high of 22 percent.

•Fluoroquinolones like ciprofloxacin are classified as critically important for the treatment of Salmonella infections. Resistance to Ciprofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone, was absent in Salmonella from poultry and beef, although a single isolate was found in pork.

•All Salmonella from retail meats were susceptible to azithromycin, another important antibiotic recommended for the treatment of Salmonella and other intestinal pathogens.

•Multidrug resistance in Salmonella continued a downward trend in chicken and turkey products from 2011 levels of 45 percent and 50 percent, respectively, to 20 percent and 36 percent in June 2015.

“Findings of concern” in the report included:

•Identification of the first instance of ciprofloxacin resistance in an isolate from retail pork, and detection of the genes associated with this resistance for future tracking;

•One ceftriaxone-resistant retail chicken isolate from 2014 had the extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) gene. This is the first time this class of resistance gene was detected in the US and it causes resistance to β-lactam antibiotics.

•While only three isolates of Salmonella serotype Dublin were recovered from ground beef in 2014, they demonstrated extensive resistance patterns, showing resistance to 9-12 of 14 drugs tested.

Read the full FDA Report here.