Journal Article

Epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in enterococci of animal origin

Ellie Hershberger, Simona F. Oprea, Susan M. Donabedian, Mary Perri, Pamela Bozigar, Paul Bartlett and Marcus J. Zervos

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 55, issue 1, pages 127-130
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkh508
Epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in enterococci of animal origin

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  • Medical Oncology
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Objective: We evaluated the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in enterococci from animal farms and the potential relation of resistance to antimicrobial use.

Methods: Enterococci from faecal samples from 18 beef cattle, 18 dairy cattle, 18 swine, 13 chicken, and eight turkey farms were prospectively evaluated over a 6 year period from 1998 to 2003.

Results: We evaluated 1256 isolates of Enterococcus faecium and 656 isolates of Enterococcus faecalis. None was vancomycin resistant. Quinupristin/dalfopristin, gentamicin and ciprofloxacin resistance rates in E. faecium were 2%, 0% and 55% in beef cattle, 8%, 7% and 47% in dairy cattle, 21%, 1% and 47% in swine, 85%, 12% and 23% in chicken, and 52%, 13% and 24% in turkey isolates, respectively. For E. faecalis, gentamicin resistance rates were 0% in beef cattle, 24% in dairy cattle, 37% in swine, 32% in chicken, and 29% in turkey isolates, whereas 12%, 9%, 21%, 64% and none of isolates from beef, dairy, swine, chicken, and turkey farms, respectively, were resistant to ciprofloxacin. Quinupristin/dalfopristin resistance in E. faecium was more common on chicken and turkey farms using virginiamycin (P<0.0001 for both) compared with farms not using a streptogramin, gentamicin resistance was more common on dairy farms using gentamicin (P<0.0001) compared with farms not using this antibiotic, and ciprofloxacin resistance was more common on turkey and dairy farms using enrofloxacin compared with those with no enrofloxacin use (P=0.02 and P=0.04, respectively). For E. faecalis, gentamicin resistance was more frequently detected on dairy and swine farms using gentamicin (P<0.0001 and P=0.0052, respectively) and ciprofloxacin resistance was more common on beef farms using enrofloxacin (P<0.0001) compared with farms not using these antimicrobials. PFGE showed multiple strain types with some clones common between animals of the same animal species.

Conclusions: This study shows the presence of a significant reservoir of antibiotic-resistant enterococci among farm animals. Resistance was more common on farms using antimicrobial agents.

Keywords: farms; antimicrobial use; molecular analysis

Journal Article.  2328 words. 

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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