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Lett Appl Microbiol. 1999 Nov;29(5):327-33.

Antimicrobial susceptibility of enterococci recovered from commercial swine carcasses: effect of feed additives.

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Department of Food Science & Technology, University of Reading, UK.


Enterococcus faecium is an important nosocomial pathogen often displaying multiple antibiotic resistance. The increase in clinical isolates can be attributed in part to hospital practices in antibiotic usage, but there is concern that antibiotic-resistant strains might also originate in animals fed rations containing antibiotic growth promoters. Ingestion of meat from carcasses contaminated with faecal enterococci might then result in human colonization or resistance gene transfer to human enterococci. Because there are few comparisons of bacteria isolated from matched animals that have, or have not, been fed a diet containing antibiotic, two such groups of pig carcasses were sampled at a commercial abattoir. Forty isolates from each group of pigs were tested for their resistance to avilamycin and tylosin. Although a modest number of pigs was examined, and the number of strains of E. faecium tested was small, there was no evidence that the feeding of a growth promoter caused selection of enterococci resistant to tylosin or avilamycin.

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