Animals and food of animal origin are traded world-wide. People and animals, including wildlife, migrate and travel. Bacteria and their resistance genes therefore have the capacity to spread through multiple routes between countries and continents. Detailed knowledge on the relative importance of these routes is needed to assure setting the right priorities for optimal surveillance as well as control programmes.
The EFFORT project therefore includes samples from many different environments, in collaboration with local farmers, veterinarians and hunters.
Participating farmers have generously agreed to let the EFFORT scientists visit their farms to collect information about the antimicrobial consumption and other potential risk factors, collect samples from their animals, the farm environment and even the farm workers and their families. More information is available below, and in the downloads section.
In the selected herds, representative samples of the farm animals and the environment will be collected. These will be used for analyses of resistance in relation to farm parameters.
Many of the scientists working on the project are veterinarians. In addition to this, local practitioners will be involved in for example sampling and recruiting companion animals for the study.
The picture shows Manon Houben, from EFFORT partner PorQ, sampling milk from a lactating sow. ©marietafotografie
As part of the EFFORT study, faecal samples will be collected from both adults and children. Adults to be included in the study are subjects with a presumed high occupational exposure (farmers, slaughterhouse workers) to microbial agents or adults who live with an individual with high occupational exposure (spouses). The study will also include children that live on a farm and have parents with high occupational exposure. These children are likely to have frequent and close contact with animals and are thus of interest for the purpose of the EFFORT study.
Companion animals will be sampled to explore the contribution of this animal population to the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance. While the owners will provide fecal samples from their dogs, their veterinarians will be able to give information on any past consumption of antibiotics.
Samples, from existing surveillance programs in wildlife (e.g. wild birds, boars, deers) will be included in the EFFORT study, to determine the occurrence and characteristics of antimicrobial resistance in these populations.