CIPARS 2014 – Annual Report – Summary

The Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS) collects, analyses, and communicates trends in antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in selected bacteria from humans, animals, and retail meat across Canada. The bacteria under surveillance are known as enteric bacteria (can be found within or infecting 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.

CIPARS findings for 2014 indicate early success for a poultry industry-led policy change to eliminate the preventive use of 3rd generation cephalosporins, an antimicrobial class considered highly important to human medicine. Between 2013 and 2014, CIPARS observed decreasing resistance to 3rd generation cephalosporins in Salmonella and E. coli isolated from chickens at the farm, at slaughter (abattoir) and from the grocery store (retail). CIPARS also noted significant decreases in the number of chicken farms reporting the use of this antimicrobial; ceftiofur was administered to chicks and hatching eggs in 6% of flocks in 2014 compared to 31% in 2013.

In 2014, the frequency of resistance to ciprofloxacin (an antimicrobial in the fluoroquinolone class, considered highly important to human medicine) in Campylobacter from chicken and turkey showed changing regional patterns. For grocery store chicken sampled in regions across Canada, ciprofloxacin resistance in Campylobacter remained highest in British Columbia in 2014 (21%), though the proportion of resistant isolates was lower than in 2013 (26%) in that province/region. Retail turkey sampling started in 2013 and ciprofloxacin resistance in Campylobacter from this product increased in most regions in 2014. For healthy animals at slaughter, the proportion of Campylobacter isolates that were resistant to ciprofloxacin in 2014 was 11% for chicken (significant increase from 4% in 2010), 7% for cattle and 11% for pigs. For broiler chickens on the farm, resistance to ciprofloxacin among Campylobacter decreased between 2013 (16%) and 2014 (10%).

Of all the medically important antimicrobials distributed for use in Canada, approximately 82% were intended for production animals, 18% were for humans, less than 1% for companion animals, and less than 1% for crops [as per the 2016 Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (CARSS) Report - for data on antimicrobials intended for use in humans and comparisons with antimicrobials used in animals/agriculture]. Adjusting for underlying populations and weights there was roughly 1.7 times more antimicrobials distributed for use in animals than humans (as per the 2016 CARSS report). Comparing 2006 to 2014, the total quantities of antimicrobials intended for use in animals (adjusted for populations and weights) were very similar. Seventy-three percent of this total in 2014 included antimicrobial classes also used in human medicine. Most antimicrobials were intended to be administered to animals via feed, a finding which was also reflected in data from sampled broiler chicken and grower-finisher pig farms. For chickens, 90% of sampled flocks reported using antimicrobials. Fewer flocks were medicated at the hatchery in 2014 compared to 2013 and fewer chicks and hatching eggs were exposed to ceftiofur (a 3rd generation cephalosporin). Disease prevention was the most frequently reported reason for antimicrobial use in feed and only 4% of sampled flocks reported using antimicrobials as growth promotants. For pigs, 91% of sampled grower-finisher pig herds reported using antimicrobials. Disease pressures and management practices were significantly different between regions for grower-finisher pig farms and may be reasons for regional differences in antimicrobial use practices.

CIPARS continues to evolve to meet stakeholder needs. To improve efficiency, CIPARS has returned to the release of a single Annual Report. For 2014, integrated findings have been published in the 2016 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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