Working across the veterinary and human health sectors

Laura Garcia-Alvarez*, Susan Dawson, Barry Cookson, Peter Hawkey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Antibiotics are widely used in human and veterinary medicine for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. This practice has led to the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in both humans and animals. The potential role that animals, particularly livestock, might play as potential reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes has been recognized, and it is currently a cause of public health concern. The impact of animal and human antibiotic usage on the emergence and persistence of resistant bacteria and the precise transfer pathways for resistance genes between humans and animals are not currently fully understood. As part of the remit of the UK Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infection (ARHAI), two main areas were addressed, namely methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, where both the human and veterinary health sectors share interests. We review the current knowledge of MRSA and resistant Gram-negative bacteria, and provide guidance on occupational risks for veterinary healthcare workers relating to animals infected or colonized with MRSA. Findings and recommendations for further work across disciplines and future research in multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria are also presented. Working collaboratively across disciplines is essential in order to better understand and challenge an important human and animal health problem: antimicrobial resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdks206
Pages (from-to)i37-i49
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
None to declare. This article forms part of a Supplement sponsored by the BSAC and the British Infection Association.


  • Antimicrobial use
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Multidrug resistant enteric pathogen
  • Occupational risks


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