NWZG Conference 2016

Intestinal carriage of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria in pets was found to be associated with feeding dogs a raw meat diet. This was one of the main conclusions of the presentation by Prof. Nicola Williams at the annual North West Zoonoses Group (NWZG) conference on ‘Emerging Themes in Zoonoses’ in July.

Further to this, Stephanie Begemann (PhD student) discussed the way in which concerns about AMR had been translated into policy in UK and Sweden over the past 50 years. David Singleton presented details of policies and practice of antibiotic prescribing in dogs and cats, analysing health records from over a million small animal consultations from the SAVSNET database. David highlighted the preferential use of cephalosporins in cats.

Inter-agency working, one of the aims of the NWZG, was then put into practice as the attendees worked on two topical scenarios;

  • AMR resistance as a result of feeding pets ‘raw’ diets,
  • risks of Zika at an individual and population level associated with  foreign travel and the increased geographical spread of the Tiger Mosquito, Aeges albopictus.

Their reports raised a number of areas where there were misunderstandings and real and potential disconnects between agencies.

The role of the “Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food: what they do and why” and its relationship with Food Standards Agency (FSA) policy and practice was illustrated by its Chair, Prof. Sarah O’Brien, and Kevin Maher from FSA. Based on a case study, they described the way in which consumer behaviour and marketing influenced advice on the manufacture and preparation of gourmet burgers.

The conference, attended by over 45 delegates and sponsored by the NIHR Emerging and Zoonotic Infections and Gastrointestinal Infections Health Protection Research Units, ended with a plenary talk by Prof. Malcom Bennett, who described the activities of the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens in relation to zoonotic diseases.

 NWZG Conference 2016


Posted on: 12/08/2016