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Review

Insects, Rodents, and Pets as Reservoirs, Vectors, and Sentinels of Antimicrobial Resistance

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Biosystems and Environmental Engineering Research Group, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, Mount. Pleasant, Harare P.O. Box MP167, Zimbabwe
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Department of Physical and Earth Sciences, Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley 8300, South Africa
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Department of Environmental Sciences and Technology, School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Private Bag, Chinhoyi 7724, Zimbabwe
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Future Water Institute, Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7700, South Africa
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Department of Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley 8300, South Africa
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Department of Environmental Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 60-806 Poznan, Poland
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Integrated Science Association (ISA), Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN), 60-806 Poznań, Poland
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Antimicrobial Research Unit, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 December 2020 / Revised: 7 January 2021 / Accepted: 8 January 2021 / Published: 12 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Resistance and the Environment: One Health Approach)
This paper reviews the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in insects, rodents, and pets. Insects (e.g., houseflies, cockroaches), rodents (rats, mice), and pets (dogs, cats) act as reservoirs of AMR for first-line and last-resort antimicrobial agents. AMR proliferates in insects, rodents, and pets, and their skin and gut systems. Subsequently, insects, rodents, and pets act as vectors that disseminate AMR to humans via direct contact, human food contamination, and horizontal gene transfer. Thus, insects, rodents, and pets might act as sentinels or bioindicators of AMR. Human health risks are discussed, including those unique to low-income countries. Current evidence on human health risks is largely inferential and based on qualitative data, but comprehensive statistics based on quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) are still lacking. Hence, tracing human health risks of AMR to insects, rodents, and pets, remains a challenge. To safeguard human health, mitigation measures are proposed, based on the one-health approach. Future research should include human health risk analysis using QMRA, and the application of in-silico techniques, genomics, network analysis, and ’big data’ analytical tools to understand the role of household insects, rodents, and pets in the persistence, circulation, and health risks of AMR. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms; antimicrobial resistance genes; companion animals; human exposure pathways; human health risks; quantitative microbial risk assessment antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms; antimicrobial resistance genes; companion animals; human exposure pathways; human health risks; quantitative microbial risk assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gwenzi, W.; Chaukura, N.; Muisa-Zikali, N.; Teta, C.; Musvuugwa, T.; Rzymski, P.; Abia, A.L.K. Insects, Rodents, and Pets as Reservoirs, Vectors, and Sentinels of Antimicrobial Resistance. Antibiotics 2021, 10, 68. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10010068

AMA Style

Gwenzi W, Chaukura N, Muisa-Zikali N, Teta C, Musvuugwa T, Rzymski P, Abia ALK. Insects, Rodents, and Pets as Reservoirs, Vectors, and Sentinels of Antimicrobial Resistance. Antibiotics. 2021; 10(1):68. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10010068

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gwenzi, Willis, Nhamo Chaukura, Norah Muisa-Zikali, Charles Teta, Tendai Musvuugwa, Piotr Rzymski, and Akebe L.K. Abia 2021. "Insects, Rodents, and Pets as Reservoirs, Vectors, and Sentinels of Antimicrobial Resistance" Antibiotics 10, no. 1: 68. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10010068

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