The Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS) 2015 Annual Report – Summary

The Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS) collects, analyses, and communicates trends in antimicrobial use and in antimicrobial resistance for select bacteria from humans, animals, and retail meat across Canada. The bacteria under surveillance are known as enteric bacteria (they can be found in the intestines of people and animals) and can be transmitted between animals and people. Information from CIPARS supports measures to contain the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria among animals, food, and people, with the aim of prolonging the effectiveness of antimicrobials.

Generalizing across all animal species in Canada, antimicrobial use in animals increased in 2015. Data provided by the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) indicated that the total quantity of antimicrobials distributed for use in animals and the total quantity of medically important antimicrobials adjusted for animal biomass were the highest reported since surveillance began in 2006. In comparison with antimicrobial use in people, 1.7 times more antimicrobials were distributed for sale for use in animals than for use in people. In this comparison, only medically important antimicrobials were considered (which means that ionophores and chemical coccidiostats used in animals were excluded), Canadian standard weights of animals were applied and the most recent animal (2015) and human (2014) data were used. Antimicrobial use data from CAHI, broiler chicken and grower-finisher pig sentinel farms, and humans showed that the types of antimicrobials used differed substantially between people and animals and between different animal species. This finding highlights the critical importance of collecting surveillance data from different host species. Based on antimicrobial use data collected from sentinel farms in 2015, the majority of antimicrobial use reported on broiler chicken and grower-finisher pig farms was for the purpose of disease prevention, rather than for treatment of disease or growth promotion.

Farm-level antimicrobial use and resistance surveillance indicated that a change in antimicrobial use policy on broiler chicken farms across Canada appears to be having the desired goal of reducing use of critically important antimicrobials, in particular the use of the antimicrobial ceftiofur (a 3rd generation cephalosporin). Decreases in ceftriaxone resistance (ceftriaxone is analogous to ceftiofur) in both Salmonella and E. coli in several stages along the food chain was also apparent.

In terms of other antimicrobial resistance findings, the frequency of fluoroquinolone resistance in Campylobacter from chicken appeared to be fluctuating at the regional level and changing over time. CIPARS has limited access to data on fluoroquinolone resistance in Campylobacter from humans, hence there is limited ability to make comparisons between what is happening in animals and people. In 2015, resistance to ciprofloxacin (a fluoroquinolone) was observed in S. Kentucky isolates from food animal isolates for the first time. It was also the first time resistance to ciprofloxacin was ever observed in any Salmonella serovar recovered from chicken. Since 2011, multidrug resistance appears to be rising among cattle Salmonella clinical isolates with a number of isolates exhibiting resistance to more than five antimicrobial classes.

CIPARS continues to evolve to meet stakeholder and program needs. In addition to core surveillance activities, CIPARS continues to explore new means to describe emerging issues and report integrated data across various host species, bacterial species and regions. CIPARS has returned to the release of a single annual report to be posted on the government of Canada website. Key 2015 and 2016 CIPARS findings will be incorporated into the 2017 Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System Report.

To request a copy of the full report (PDF format), please send an email to or call us at 519-826-2174.

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