Control and prevention of antimicrobial resistance in the pork production chain (LÄKÄ)

This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in the pork production chain, identifying the means to control the increase and spread of such resistance. The results will be used in determining the extent to which consumers are exposed to resistant microbes by way of the pork production chain. Another objective was to identify means that could be used in reducing the risk of consumers being exposed to resistant microbe strains. A popular information package on resistance, its emergence and means available to find protection from it was published (see Guide for producers in side panel).

Key measures The study was carried out by sampling for resistance at ten farms. A litter of piglets that has received medication as well as two or three litters that have not been treated were sampled. Furthermore, the same animals were sampled immediately before they are sent for slaughter as well as at the slaughterhouse, where carcasses and cut meat were sampled for resistance. During the first visit to a pig farm, information was gathered on the farm’s medication plan, the medication administered during the year preceding the visit, the farm’s biosecurity, and other preventive medical practices.

Expected effects and results The study provided information on antimicrobial resistance in the production chain from the farm to the consumer as well as on the occurrence of antimicrobial treatments and resistance. This study also added to solutions which contribute to the understanding of proper medication and reduce the need for such medications by chancing practices and improving the protection against diseases, for example. Evidence-based information obtained on the spectrum of antimicrobial medication and its use will help the parties involved to choose more effective risk management practices and facilitate the drafting of regulations and recommendations. Identifying critical areas in which antimicrobial resistance becomes more common and spreads will help decision-makers to direct measures to correct locations. A guide on antimicrobial resistance, its emergence and the means available to consumers to protect themselves from it will contribute to public health and the international competitiveness of the players forming the production chain.

Timetable

2016 - 2019

Project funding 

Development Fund of Agriculture and Forestry MAKERA, Evira, University of Helsinki

Research group 

Pirkko Tuominen (Finnish Food Authority)
Johanna Suomi (Finnish Food Authority)
Johanna Muurinen (Finnish Food Authority)
Leena Seppä-Lassila (Finnish Food Authority)
Merja Hämäläinen (Finnish Food Authority)
Anna-Liisa Myllyniemi (Finnish Food Authority)
Satu Olkkola (Finnish Food Authority)
Suvi Nykäsenoja (Finnish Food Authority)
Olli Peltoniemi (Helsinki University)
Mari Heinonen (Helsinki University)
Jinhyeon Yun (Helsinki University)

Additional information

Johanna Suomi (johanna.suomi@foodauthority.fi)

Page last updated 4/24/2020