J Antimicrob Chemother 2019 Apr 19. Epub 2019 Apr 19.
Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Addlestone, UK.
Aminoglycosides (AGs) are important antibacterial agents for the treatment of various infections in humans and animals. Following extensive use of AGs in humans, food-producing animals and companion animals, acquired resistance among human and animal pathogens and commensal bacteria has emerged. Acquired resistance occurs through several mechanisms, but enzymatic inactivation of AGs is the most common one. Resistance genes are often located on mobile genetic elements, facilitating their spread between different bacterial species and between animals and humans. AG resistance has been found in many different bacterial species, including those with zoonotic potential such as Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp. and livestock-associated MRSA. The highest risk is anticipated from transfer of resistant enterococci or coliforms (Escherichia coli) since infections with these pathogens in humans would potentially be treated with AGs. There is evidence that the use of AGs in human and veterinary medicine is associated with the increased prevalence of resistance. The same resistance genes have been found in isolates from humans and animals. Evaluation of risk factors indicates that the probability of transmission of AG resistance from animals to humans through transfer of zoonotic or commensal foodborne bacteria and/or their mobile genetic elements can be regarded as high, although there are no quantitative data on the actual contribution of animals to AG resistance in human pathogens. Responsible use of AGs is of great importance in order to safeguard their clinical efficacy for human and veterinary medicine.