With more than 40,000 poultry farms, the European Union (EU-28) is the forth world´s top producers in poultry meat (13.1 million tons, 2014) and the second largest egg producer (>11 million tons, 2014). The European poultry industry employs 302,000 staff across Europe and has an annual turnover of €30 B, being then of significant economic importance.
To date, avian colibacillosis and salmonellosis are considered the main bacterial infections in the poultry sector having an important economic impact worldwide. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) estimated overall economic burden of human salmonellosis at €3B/year.
Nowadays, antibiotics have been routinely used in poultry to promote animal growth or prevent disease outbreaks. However, their overuse has led to drug-resistant strains, limiting its therapeutic effectiveness and increasing antimicrobial resistances, making them a major problem, both in animal and human medicine. In fact, according to the Review of Antimicrobial Resistance, 700,000 people die annually from drug resistant infections and it is estimated that this number will rise to 10 million by 2050.