Multidirectional dynamic model for the spread of extended-spectrum-β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli in the Netherlands

Eduardo de Freitas Costa*, Thomas J. Hagenaars, Anita Dame-Korevaar, Michael S.M. Brouwer, Clazien J. de Vos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Extended-spectrum-β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC) is a major public health concern. A better understanding of the dynamics of ESBL-EC transmission is required for effective prevention and control. We present here a multidirectional dynamic risk model for ESBL-EC transmission between broiler flocks, broiler farmers, and the open community, parameterized for the Netherlands. A discrete-time model was used to describe the transmission of ESBL-EC within and between populations including modeling the flock-to-human transmission via food consumption due to contamination at the slaughterhouse and/or during food preparation. The ESBL-EC prevalence reached an equilibrium prevalence of 0.65%, 24.7%, and 15.9% in the open community, farmers, and broiler flocks, respectively. The colonization of the open community could primarily be attributed to the open community itself (62%), followed by vegetable consumption (29.5%), and contact with farmers (8.5%). Model results were most sensitive to the estimated colonization and decolonization rate for humans. What-if analysis to explore the effect of interventions in the food production chain (i.e. from farm to fork) on the ESBL-EC prevalence in the open community indicated that interventions aimed at reducing the spread of ESBL-EC within broiler flocks were most effective. Interventions in the consumer phase (reduced cross-contamination in the kitchen, and reduced chicken meat consumption) resulted in a slightly lower ESBL-EC prevalence in the open community. Reducing cross-contamination at the slaughterhouse or reducing the proportion of broiler flocks with high antimicrobial use hardly had any effect on the prevalence in the open community. These results illustrate the relevance of the model for supporting the development of antimicrobial resistance risk mitigation strategies as part of public health policy making.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100230
JournalMicrobial Risk Analysis
Early online date17 Jul 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jul 2022


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • ESBL-E. coli
  • Multidirectional-dynamic model
  • Risk assessment
  • Source attribution


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