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SvarmPat – focus on antimicrobial resistance in animal pathogens

In 2005, increased surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria causing disease in pigs, cattle, sheep or poultry was initiated through the programme -SvarmPat.

The programme is run in collaboration between the Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA) and Farm and Animal Health and is financed by the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

Resistance data for animal pathogens have been reported and evaluated annually in Svarm since 2000 (Svarm-reports). Data presented have mostly been compilations of results from the routine diagnostic activities at SVA but results from specific research projects in this field have also been presented.

The objective of SvarmPat

With the objective to reduce emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria from farm-animals, including farmed fish, SvarmPat aims at collecting high-quality data on antibiotic resistance for a number of animal pathogens. This is achieved by stimulating routine clinical sampling and by focused projects directed at specific diseases or disease complex. Thereby, SvarmPat combines both passive and active surveillance. Results are reported yearly in the Swedres-Svarm report and are communicated in other ways as well. Updated knowledge on susceptibility of animal pathogens is thereby available for practitioners, facilitating the therapeutic choice in the clinical setting. Moreover, high-quality data allows appropriate analysis of trends in resistance and of underlying causes for such trends.

Pathogens are of highest priority in SvarmPat, like for example Escherichia coli, Brachyspira spp. and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae from pigs and Pasteurella spp. and Mannheimia spp. from cattle, pigs, and sheep. Mastitis pathogens are also of main focus in the programme. One activity in SvarmPat is to encourage practitioners and pathologists to submit samples for microbiological culture and susceptibility testing. This applies specifically to Pasteurella spp. and Mannheimia spp. from cattle where currently few isolates are tested yearly but also Streptococcus suis and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae from pigs.

Increased and in depth knowledge

By long term monitoring, SvarmPat will lead to increased and in-depth knowledge of antimicrobial resistance in pathogens from Swedish farm animals. This is a cornerstone for prudent use of antimicrobials, which, in a wider perspective, curbs the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. Thereby, effective antimicrobial therapy of farm animals, imperative for a good animal health status, is ensured in the future.

Last updated : 2024-05-02