High levels of antimicrobial resistance in Escherichia coli and Salmonella from poultry in Ecuador

Amancha et al.


To describe antimicrobial resistance profiles of Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. isolated from chicken carcasses and the antimicrobials commonly used in animals in Ecuador and provide information on antimicrobial resistance patterns for implementing evidence-based corrective measures.


Meat samples were collected from chicken carcasses in 199 slaughterhouses across Ecuador as part of a national pilot study for monitoring antimicrobial resistance in agricultural sources in 2019. Samples were tested for E. coli and Salmonella spp. Sensitivity to 10 critically important and three highly important antimicrobials (from a human health perspective) was assessed. The country report submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health was accessed to extract the quantity of antimicrobials produced or imported for use in animals.


Of 383 samples, E. coli was isolated from 148 (39%) and Salmonella spp. from 20 (5%) samples. Ninety percent of the isolates were resistant to at least one critically important antimicrobial. Resistance was highest to erythromycin (E. coli 76%; Salmonella spp. 85%) and tetracycline (E. coli 71%; Salmonella spp. 90%). Critically or highly important antimicrobials (colistin, tetracycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole) formed the bulk (87%) of antimicrobials used in animals as per the World Organization for Animal Health report.


High prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in poultry in Ecuador calls for the development of guidelines and regulations on the use of antimicrobials and for engagement with livestock producers. The existing surveillance system needs to be strengthened to improve the monitoring of antimicrobial use and evolving resistance patterns. 

Click below to watch a brief video (Spanish) on this study (or watch in full screen on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnQEYkHUVVA)

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