Comments invited on reflection paper on risk of antimicrobial resistance transfer from companion animals to humans

News 21/10/2013

The European Medicines Agency has released a PDF icondraft reflection paper on the risk of antimicrobial resistance transfer from companion animals to humans today for public consultation.

Comments should be sent by 31 January 2014, using the form provided, to

The aim of the reflection paper is to review the public health risk of a transfer of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria from companion animals to humans.

Close contact between companion animals and humans creates opportunities for the transmission of multidrug-resistant bacteria between species. Giving companion animals antimicrobials that are critically important for human health is an additional risk factor for the emergence and transmission of antimicrobial resistance.

The reflection paper aims to discuss the possible need to assess this specific risk in applications for new veterinary medicines for companion animals. It covers the following aspects:

  • the use and indications of antimicrobials in companion animals;
  • drug-resistant bacteria of concern among companion animals;
  • risk factors for colonisation of companion animals by resistant bacteria;
  • transfer of antimicrobial resistance between animals and humans (bacteria themsevles and/or resistance-determinants).

The focus of this reflection paper is on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae and carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria.

The Agency develops reflection papers to communicate the current status of discussions or to invite comment on a selected area of medicine development or on a specific topic. A reflection paper does not provide scientific, technical or regulatory guidance, but may contribute to the future development of such guidelines or related documents.

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