Poultry farming represents Peru’s primary food animal production industry, where antimicrobial growth promoters are still commonly used, exerting selective pressure on intestinal microbial populations. Consumption and direct animal-to-human transmission have been reported, and farmworkers are at high risk of colonization with resistant bacteria. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 54 farmworkers to understand their current antimicrobial resistance (AMR) awareness in Ica, Peru. To gain insight into the potential work-related risk of exposure to bacteria, we also measured the AMR rates in Escherichia coli isolated among 50 broiler chickens. Farmworkers were unaware of antimicrobial resistance (31.5%) or antibiotic resistance (16.7%) terms. Almost two-thirds (61%) consumed antibiotics during the previous month, and only 42.6% received a prescription from a healthcare professional. A total of 107 E. coli chicken isolates were obtained, showing a high frequency of multidrug-resistant (89.7%) and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production (71.9%). Among ESBL-producer isolates, 84.4% carried the blaCTX-M gene. Results identified gaps in knowledge that reflect the need for interventions to increase antimicrobial awareness among poultry farmworkers. The high AMR rates among E. coli isolates highlight the need to reduce antimicrobial use in poultry farms. Our findings reveal a critical need for effective policy development and antimicrobial stewardship interventions in poultry production in Ica, Peru.
- Growth promoters
- Public awareness