Last Updated on 28 Dec 2022

Reducing the risk of transmission of critical antimicrobial resistance determinants from contaminated pork products to humans in South-East Asia.


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a critical challenge worldwide as it impacts public health, especially via contamination in the food chain and in healthcare-associated infections. In relation to farming, the systems used, waste management on farms, and the production line process are all determinants reflecting the risk of AMR emergence and rate of contamination of foodstuffs. This review focuses on South East Asia (SEA), which contains diverse regions covering 11 countries, each having different levels of development, customs, laws, and regulations. Routinely, here as elsewhere antimicrobials are still used for three indications: therapy, prevention, and growth promotion, and these are the fundamental drivers of AMR development and persistence. The accuracy of detection of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) depends on the laboratory standards applicable in the various institutes and countries, and this affects the consistency of regional data. Enterobacteriaceae such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae are the standard proxy species used for indicating AMR-associated nosocomial infections and healthcare-associated infections. Pig feces and wastewater have been suspected as one of the hotspots for spread and circulation of ARB and ARG. As part of AMR surveillance in a One Health approach, clonal typing is used to identify bacterial clonal transmission from the production process to consumers and patients – although to date there have been few published definitive studies about this in SEA. Various alternatives to antibiotics are available to reduce antibiotic use on farms. Certain of these alternatives together with improved disease prevention methods are essential tools to reduce antimicrobial usage in swine farms and to support global policy. This review highlights evidence for potential transfer of resistant bacteria from food animals to humans, and awareness and understanding of AMR through a description of the occurrence of AMR in pig farm food chains under SEA management systems. The latter includes a description of standard pig farming practices, detection of AMR and clonal analysis of bacteria, and AMR in the food chain and associated environments. Finally, the possibility of using alternatives to antibiotics and improving policies for future strategies in combating AMR in a SEA context are outlined.

International Journal
Frontiers in Microbiology 2021;12:689015.
Sirichokchatchawan W , Apiwatsiri P , Pupa P , Saenkankam I , Khine NO , Lekagul A , Lugsomya K , Hampson DJ , Prapasarakul N
Prapasarakul N.

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