Glycopeptide Resistance in Enterococcus Faecium from Broilers and Pigs Following Discontinued Use of Avoparcin
was approved as a growth promoter in Europe in the 1970s and was widely used in livestock.
Cross-resistance between avoparcin
and vancomycin occurs because the same gene, vanA, carries the resistance determinant to both antibiotics (Bager et al.
A EUROPEAN Union (EU) funded research project has developed tests for growth promoters banned in the EU, such as avoparcin
, spiramycin, tylosin, virginiamycin and zinc bacitracin.
Except in USA and Canada, avoparcin
(a glycopeptide-class antibiotic) has been used worldwide in animal food as a growth-promoting feed additive.
human-medicine antibiotics currently used in livestock and poultry food include arsanilic acid, avoparcin
, bacitracin, bam bermycin, chlortetracycline, erythromycin, furazolidone, glycopeptides, lincomycin, neomycin sulfate, nitrofurazone, 3-nitro-4-hydroxy phenylarsonic acid, oleandomycin, oxytetracycline, penicillin, procaine penicillin, sodium arsanilate, streptogramin, streptomycin, sulfamethazine, sulfaquinox-aline, sulfathiazole, tetracycline, tylosin, vancomycin, and virginiamycin;
A study in the Netherlands found that two years after the 1997 EU ban on the agricultural drug avoparcin
, the prevalence of bacterial resistance to a related human drug, vancomycin, had dropped by half in both livestock and people.
In 1997, the EU banned the use of the controversial glycopeptide growth promoter avoparcin
and in 1999 suspended the use of four others, based on the `precautionary principle'.
The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry dropped avoparcin
from a list of feed additives in 1997.
Risks of cross-resistance to antibiotics have been most widely discussed in debates over avoparcin
is a glycopeptide antibiotic with a gram positive spectrum of activity produced by fermentation of a strain of Streptomyces candidus.
The action in Denmark was stimulated by the identified linkage between avoparcin
use in broiler chickens and vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infections in humans (Bates 1997).