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Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 May;10(5):873-9.

Antimicrobial resistance in commensal flora of pig farmers.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, National Institute for Public Health, Saint-Maurice, France.


We assessed the quantitative contribution of pig farming to antimicrobial resistance in the commensal flora of pig farmers by comparing 113 healthy pig farmers from the major French porcine production areas to 113 nonfarmers, each matched for sex, age, and county of residence. All reported that they had not taken antiimicrobial agents within the previous month. Throat, nasal, and fecal swabs were screened for resistant microorganisms on agar containing selected antimicrobial agents. Nasopharyngeal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus was significantly more frequent in pig farmers, as was macrolide resistance of S. aureus from carriers. Nongroupable streptococci from the throat were more resistant to the penicillins in pig farmers. The intestinal isolation of enterococci resistant to erythromycin or vancomycin was not significantly higher in pig farmers in contrast to that of enterobacteria resistant to nalidixic acid, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, and streptomycin. Prevalence of resistance in predominant fecal enterobacteria was also significantly higher in pig farmers for cotrimoxazole, tetracycline, streptomycin, and nalidixic acid. We determined a significant association between pig farming and isolation of resistant commensal bacteria.

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