1. An epidemiological investigation of Campylobacter in pig and poultry farms in the Mekong delta of Vietnam
Abstract: Campylobacter are zoonotic pathogens commonly associated with gastroenteritis. To assess the relevance of Campylobacter in Vietnam, an economically transitioning country in SE Asia, we conducted a survey of 343 pig and poultry farms in the Mekong delta, a region characterized by mixed species farming with limited biosecurity. The animal-level prevalence of Campylobacter was 31·9%, 23·9% and 53·7% for chickens, ducks and pigs, respectively. C. jejuni was predominant in all three host species, with the highest prevalence in pigs in high-density production areas. Campylobacter isolates demonstrated high levels of antimicrobial resistance (21% and 100% resistance against ciprofloxacin and erythromycin, respectively). Multilocus sequence type genotyping showed a high level of genetic diversity within C. jejuni, and predicted C. coli inter-species transmission. We suggest that on-going intensification of animal production systems, limited biosecurity, and increased urbanization in Vietnam is likely to result in Campylobacter becoming an increasingly significant cause of human diarrhoeal infections in coming years.
2. A review of foodborne bacterial and parasitic zoonoses in Vietnam
Abstract: Vietnam has experienced unprecedented economic and social development in recent years, and the livestock sector is undergoing significant transformations. Although food animal production is still dominated by small-scale ‘backyard’ enterprises with mixed crop–livestock or livestock–aquatic systems, there is a trend towards more intensive and vertically integrated operations. Changes in animal production, processing and distribution networks for meat and animal products, and the shift from wet markets to supermarkets will undoubtedly impact food safety risks in Vietnam in unforeseen and complex ways. Here, we review the available published literature on bacterial and parasitic foodborne zoonoses (FBZ) in Vietnam. We report on clinical disease burden and pathogen prevalence in animal reservoirs for a number of important FBZ, and outline opportunities for future research.
3. Antimicrobial usage in chicken production in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam
Abstract: Antimicrobials are used extensively in chicken production in Vietnam, but to date no quantitative data are available. A 2012–2013 survey of 208 chicken farms in Tien Giang province, stratified by size (10–200 chickens; >200–2000), was carried out to describe and quantify the use of antibacterial antimicrobials (usage per week per chicken and usage per 1000 chickens produced) in the Mekong Delta and to investigate factors associated with usage. Twenty-eight types of antimicrobial belonging to 10 classes were reported. Sixty-three per cent of all commercial formulations contained at least two antimicrobials. On 84% occasions, antimicrobials were administered with a prophylactic purpose. The overall adjusted quantities of antimicrobials used/week/chicken and per 1000 chickens produced (g) were 26.36 mg (SE 3.54) and 690.4 g (SE 203.6), respectively. Polypeptides, tetracyclines, penicillins and aminoglycosides were the antimicrobials used by most farms (18.6% farms, 17.5%, 11.3% and 10.1% farms, respectively), whereas penicillins, lincosamides, quinolones, and sulphonamides/trimethoprim were quantitatively the most used compounds (8.27, 5.2, 3.16 and 2.78 mg per week per chicken, respectively). Factors statistically associated with higher levels of usage (per week per chicken) were meat farms (OR = 1.40) and farms run by a male farmer (OR = 2.0). All-in-all-out farming systems (correlated with medium farms) were associated with reduced levels of antimicrobial usage (OR = 0.68). Usage levels to produced meat chickens were considerably higher than those reported in European countries. This should trigger the implementation of surveillance programmes to monitor sales of antimicrobials that should contribute to the rational administration of antimicrobials in order to preserve the efficacy of existing antimicrobials in Vietnam.
4. High levels of antimicrobial resistance among Escherichia coli isolates from livestock farms and synanthropic rats and shrews in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam
Abstract: In Mekong Delta farms (Vietnam), antimicrobials are extensively used, but limited data are available on levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among Escherichia coli isolates. We performed a structured survey of AMR in E. coli isolates (n = 434) from 90 pig, chicken, and duck farms. The results were compared with AMR among E. coli isolates (n = 234) from 66 small wild animals (rats and shrews) trapped on farms and in forests and rice fields. The isolates were susceptibility tested against eight antimicrobials. E. coli isolates from farmed animals were resistant to a median of 4 (interquartile range [IQR], 3 to 6) antimicrobials versus 1 (IQR, 1 to 2) among wild mammal isolates (P < 0.001). The prevalences of AMR among farmed species isolates (versus wild animals) were as follows: tetracycline, 84.7% (versus 25.6%); ampicillin, 78.9% (versus 85.9%); trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 52.1% (versus 18.8%); chloramphenicol, 39.9% (versus 22.5%); amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, 36.6% (versus 34.5%); and ciprofloxacin, 24.9% (versus 7.3%). The prevalence of multidrug resistance (MDR) (resistance against three or more antimicrobial classes) among pig isolates was 86.7% compared to 66.9 to 72.7% among poultry isolates. After adjusting for host species, MDR was 8 times greater among isolates from wild mammals trapped on farms than among those trapped in forests/rice fields (P < 0.001). Isolates were assigned to unique profiles representing their combinations of susceptibility results. Multivariable analysis of variance indicated that AMR profiles from wild mammals trapped on farms and those from domestic animals were more alike (R2 range, 0.14 to 0.30) than E. coli isolates from domestic animals and mammals trapped in the wild (R2 range, 0.25 to 0.45). The results strongly suggest that AMR on farms is a key driver of environmental AMR in the Mekong Delta.
5. High levels of contamination and antimicrobial-resistant non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars on pig and poultry farms in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam
Abstract: We investigated the prevalence, diversity, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles of non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) and associated risk factors on 341 pig, chicken, and duck farms in Dong Thap province (Mekong Delta, Vietnam). Sampling was stratified by species, district (four categories), and farm size (three categories). Pooled faeces, collected using boot swabs, were tested using ISO 6575: 2002 (Annex D). Isolates were serogrouped; group B isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction to detect S. Typhimurium and (monophasic) serovar 4,,12:i:- variants. The farm-level adjusted NTS prevalence was 64·7%, 94·3% and 91·3% for chicken, duck and pig farms, respectively. Factors independently associated with NTS were duck farms [odds ratio (OR) 21·2], farm with >50 pigs (OR 11·9), pig farm with 5–50 pigs (OR 4·88) (vs. chickens), and frequent rodent sightings (OR 2·3). Both S. Typhimurium and monophasic S. Typhimurium were more common in duck farms. Isolates had a high prevalence of resistance (77·6%) against tetracycline, moderate resistance (20–30%) against chloramphenicol, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, ampicillin and nalidixic acid, and low resistance (<5%) against ciprofloxacin and third-generation cephalosporins. Multidrug resistance (resistance against 53 classes of antimicrobial) was independently associated with monophasic S. Typhimurium and other group B isolates (excluding S. Typhimurium) and pig farms. The unusually high prevalence of NTS on Mekong Delta farms poses formidable challenges for control.
6. Prevalence and risk factors for carriage of antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli on household and small-scale chicken farms in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam
Objectives: To describe the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among commensal Escherichia coli isolates on household and small-scale chicken farms, common in southern Vietnam, and to investigate the association of antimicrobial resistance with farming practices and antimicrobial usage.
Methods: We collected data on farming and antimicrobial usage from 208 chicken farms. E. coli was isolated from boot swab samples using MacConkey agar (MA) and MA with ceftazidime, nalidixic acid or gentamicin. Isolates were tested for their susceptibility to 11 antimicrobials and for ESBL production. Risk factor analyses were carried out, using logistic regression, at both the bacterial population and farm levels.
Results: E. coli resistant to gentamicin, ciprofloxacin and third-generation cephalosporins was detected on 201 (96.6%), 191 (91.8%) and 77 (37.0%) of the farms, respectively. Of the 895 E. coli isolates, resistance to gentamicin, ciprofloxacin and third-generation cephalosporins was detected in 178 (19.9%), 291 (32.5%) and 29 (3.2%) of the isolates, respectively. Ciprofloxacin resistance was significantly associated with quinolone usage (OR¼2.26) and tetracycline usage (OR¼1.70). ESBL-producing E. coli were associated with farms containing fish ponds (OR¼4.82).
Conclusions: Household and small farms showed frequent antimicrobial usage associated with a high prevalence of resistance to the most commonly used antimicrobials. Given the weak biocontainment, the high prevalence of resistant E. coli could represent a risk to the environment and to humans.
7. Induction of antimicrobial resistance in Escherichia coli and non-typhoidal Salmonella strains after adaptation to quaternary ammonium compound disinfectants commonly used on farms in Vietnam
Abstract: In Vietnam, commercial disinfectants containing quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) are commonly used in pig and poultry farms to maintain hygiene during production. We hypothesized that sustained exposure to sub-bactericidal concentrations of QAC-based disinfectants may result in increased levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among Enterobacteriacea due to the increase of efflux pump expression. To test this hypothesis we exposed six antimicrobial-susceptible Escherichia coli (E. coli) and six antimicrobial-susceptible non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) isolates to increasing concentrations of a commonly used commercial disinfectant containing a mix of benzalkonium chloride and glutaraldehyde. Over the 12-day experiment, strains exhibited a significant change in their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the disinfectant product (mean increase of 31% (SD ± 40)) (p = 0.02, paired Wilcoxon test). Increases in MIC for the disinfectant product were strongly correlated with increases in MIC (or decreases in inhibition zone) for all antimicrobials (Pearson’s correlation coefficient 0.71–0.83, all p < 0.01). The greatest increases in MIC (or decreases in inhibition zone) were observed for ampicillin, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, and chloramphenicol, and the smallest for gentamicin, trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole. The treatment of 155 representative E. coli isolates from farmed and wild animals in the Mekong Delta (Vietnam) with phenyl-arginine beta-naphthylamide (PAβN), a generic efflux pump inhibitor, resulted in reductions in the prevalence of AMR ranging from 0.7% to 3.3% in these organisms, indicating a small contribution of efflux pumps on the observed prevalence of AMR on farms. These results suggest that the mass usage of commercial disinfectants, many of which contain QACs, is potentially a contributing factor on the generation and maintenance of AMR in animal production in Vietnam.
8. Biodiversity and health: Lessons and recommendations from an interdisciplinary conference to advise Southeast Asian research, society and policy
Abstract: Southeast Asia is an economic, biodiverse, cultural and disease hotspot. Due to rapid socio-economic and environmental changes, the role of biodiversity and ecosystems for human health ought to be examined and communicated to decision-makers and the public. We therefore summarized the lessons and recommendations from an interdisciplinary conference convened in Cambodia in 2014 to advise Southeast Asian societies on current research efforts, future research needs, and to provide suggestions for improved education, training and science–policy interactions. First, we reviewed several examples of the important role of ecosystems as ‘sentinels’ in the sense that potentially harmful developments for human health become first apparent in ecosystem components. Other ecosystem services which also benefit human well-being are briefly summarized. Second, we summarized the recommendations of the conference’s roundtable discussions and added recent developments in the science–policy interface. The recommendations were organized along five themes: Ethical and legal considerations; implementation of the One Health approach; education, training, and capacity building; future research priorities; and potential science–policy interactions. While the role of biodiversity for human health needs further research, especially for zoonoses and emerging diseases, many direct and indirect benefits to human health are already apparent, but have yet to filter down to the science–policy interface in order to influence legislation and enforcement. Therefore, efforts to strengthen the interface in Southeast Asia should become a high priority in order to strengthen the health and resilience of Southeast Asian societies.
9. Use of colistin and other critical antimicrobials on pig and chicken farms in southern Vietnam and their association with resistance in commensal Escherichia coli
Abstract: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health problem, and emerging semi-intensive farming systems in Southeast Asia are major contributors to the AMR burden. We accessed 12 pig and chicken farms at key stages of production in Tien Giang Province, Vietnam, to measure antimicrobial usage and to investigate the prevalence of AMR to five critical antimicrobials (-lactams, third-generation cephalosporins, quinolones, aminoglycosides, and polymyxins) and their corresponding molecular mechanisms among 180 Escherichia coli isolates. Overall, 94.7 mg (interquartile range [IQR], 65.3 to 151.1) and 563.6 mg (IQR, 398.9 to 943.6) of antimicrobials was used to produce 1 kg (live weight) of chicken and pig, respectively. A median of 3 (out of 8) critical antimicrobials were used on pig farms. E. coli isolates exhibited a high prevalence of resistance to ampicillin (97.8% and 94.4% for chickens and pigs, respectively), ciprofloxacin (73.3% and 21.1%), gentamicin (42.2% and 35.6%), and colistin (22.2% and 24.4%). The prevalence of a recently discovered colistin resistance gene, mcr-1, was 19 to 22% and had strong agreement with phenotypic colistin resistance. We conducted plasmid conjugation experiments with 37 mcr-1 gene-positive E. coli isolates and successfully observed transfer of the gene in 54.0% of isolates through a plasmid of approximately 63 kb, consistent with one recently identified in China. We found no significant correlation between total use of antimicrobials at the farm level and AMR. These data provide additional insight into the role of mcr-1 in colistin resistance on farms and outline the dynamics of phenotypic and genotypic AMR in semi-intensive farming systems in Vietnam.
10. Non-typhoidal Salmonella colonization in chickens and humans in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam
Abstract: Salmonellosis is a public health concern in both the developed and developing countries. Although the majority of human non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica (NTS) cases are the result of foodborne infections or person-to-person transmission, NTS infections may also be acquired by environmental and occupational exposure to animals. While a considerable number of studies have investigated the presence of NTS in farm animals and meat/carcasses, very few studies have investigated the risk of NTS colonization in humans as a result of direct animal exposure. We investigated asymptomatic NTS colonization in 204 backyard chicken farms, 204 farmers and 306 matched individuals not exposed to chicken farming, in southern Vietnam. Pooled chicken faeces, collected using boot or handheld swabs on backyard chicken farms, and rectal swabs from human participants were tested. NTS colonization prevalence was 45.6%, 4.4% and 2.6% for chicken farms, farmers and unexposed individuals, respectively. Our study observed a higher prevalence of NTS colonization among chicken farmers (4.4%) compared with age-, sex- and location- matched rural and urban individuals not exposed to chickens (2.9% and 2.0%). A total of 164 chicken NTS strains and 17 human NTS strains were isolated, and 28 serovars were identified. Salmonella Weltevreden was the predominant serovar in both chickens and humans. NTS isolates showed resistance (20–40%) against tetracycline, chloramphenicol, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim and ampicillin. Our study reflects the epidemiology of NTS colonization in chickens and humans in the Mekong delta of Vietnam and emphasizes the need of larger, preferably longitudinal studies to study the transmission dynamics of NTS between and within animal and human host populations.
11. Antimicrobial consumption in medicated feeds in Vietnamese pig and poultry production
Abstract: Antimicrobials are extensively used as growth promoters in animal feeds worldwide, but reliable estimates are lacking. We conducted an internet-based survey of commercial chicken and pig feed products officially approved for sale in Vietnam over the period March–June 2015. Information on the antimicrobial contents in feed products, alongside animal production data, was used to estimate in-feed antimicrobial consumption to produce one kilogram of live animal (chicken, pig), as well as to estimate country-wide antimicrobial consumption through animal feeds. A total of 1462 commercial feed formulations were examined. The survey-adjusted estimated antimicrobial contents were 25.7 and 62.3 mg/kg in chicken and pig feeds, respectively. Overall, it was estimated that 77.4 mg [95% CI 48.1–106.8] and 286.6 mg [95% CI 191.6–418.3] of in-feed antimicrobials were used to raise 1 kg of live chicken and pig, respectively. Bacitracin (15.5% feeds), chlortetracycline (11.4%), and enramycin (10.8%) were the most common antimicrobials present in chicken feed formulations, whereas bacitracin (24.8%), chlortetracycline (23.9%), and florfenicol (17.4%) were the most common in pig feed formulations. Overall, 57% of the total quantitative usage consisted of antimicrobials regarded by WHO of importance for human medicine, including amoxicillin, colistin, tetracyclines, neomycin, lincomycin, and bacitracin. These figures confirm a very high magnitude of in-feed consumption of antimicrobials, especially in pig production. Results from this study should encourage further monitoring of antimicrobials used in animal production, and foster discussion about existing policies on inclusion of antimicrobials in animal feed rations.
12. Antibiotic resistance is the quintessential One Health issue
13. Opinion paper: antibiotic resistance: mitigation opportunities in livestock sector development
14. Antimicrobial usage and antimicrobial resistance in animal production in Southeast Asia: a review
Abstract: Southeast Asia is an area of great economic dynamism. In recent years, it has experienced a rapid rise in the levels of animal product production and consumption. The region is considered to be a hotspot for infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). We reviewed English-language peer-reviewed publications related to antimicrobial usage (AMU) and AMR in animal production, as well as antimicrobial residues in meat and fish from 2000 to 2016, in the region. There is a paucity of data from most countries and for most bacterial pathogens. Most of the published work relates to non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS), Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Campylobacter spp. (mainly from Vietnam and Thailand), Enterococcus spp. (Malaysia), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (Thailand). However, most studies used the disk diffusion method for antimicrobial susceptibility testing; breakpoints were interpreted using Clinical Standard Laboratory Institute (CSLI) guidelines. Statistical models integrating data from publications on AMR in NTS and E. coli studies show a higher overall prevalence of AMR in pig isolates, and an increase in levels of AMR over the years. AMU studies (mostly from Vietnam) indicate very high usage levels of most types of antimicrobials, including beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, macrolides, and quinolones. This review summarizes information about genetic determinants of resistance, most of which are transferrable (mostly plasmids and integrons). The data in this review provide a benchmark to help focus research and policies on AMU and AMR in the region.
15. Integrated interventions to tackle antimicrobial usage in animal production systems: the ViParc project in Vietnam
Abstract: Antimicrobial usage and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animal production is now recognized to be an important contributor to the global problem of AMR. Initiatives to curb indiscriminate antimicrobial use in animal production are currently being discussed in many low- and middle-income countries. Well-designed, scientifically sound interventions aimed to tackle excessive antimicrobial usage should provide scientists and policy makers with evidence of the highest quality to guide changes in policy and to formulate better targeted research initiatives. However, since large-scale interventions are costly, they require careful planning in order not to waste valuable resources. Here, we describe the components of the ViParc project (www.viparc.org), one of the first large-scale interventions of its kind to tackle excessive antimicrobial usage in Southeast Asian animal production systems. The project has been formulated as a “randomized before-and-after controlled study” targeting small-scale poultry farms in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. It aims to provide farmers with a locally-adapted veterinary support service to help them reduce their reliance on antimicrobials. ViParc has been developed in the backdrop of efforts by the Government of Vietnam to develop a National Action Plan to reduce Antimicrobials in Livestock and Aquaculture. Crucially, the project integrates socio-economic analyses that will provide insights into the drivers of antimicrobial usage, as well as an assessment of the cost-effectiveness of the proposed intervention. Information generated from ViParc should help the Government of Vietnam refine its policies to curb excessive antimicrobial usage in poultry production, while lessons from ViParc will help tackle excessive antimicrobial usage in other productions systems in Vietnam and in the broader Southeast Asian region.