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Microb Drug Resist. 2013 Apr;19(2):146-51. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2012.0131. Epub 2012 Dec 18.

Clinical resistance and decreased susceptibility in Streptococcus suis isolates from clinically healthy fattening pigs.

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Veterinary Epidemiology Unit, Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium. béné


Streptococcus suis (S. suis) has often been reported as an important swine pathogen and is considered as a new emerging zoonotic agent. Consequently, it is important to be informed on its susceptibility to antimicrobial agents. In the current study, the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) population distribution of nine antimicrobial agents has been determined for nasal S. suis strains, isolated from healthy pigs at the end of the fattening period from 50 closed or semiclosed pig herds. The aim of the study was to report resistance based on both clinical breakpoints (clinical resistance percentage) and epidemiological cutoff values (non-wild-type percentage). Non-wild-type percentages were high for tetracycline (98%), lincomycin (92%), tilmicosin (72%), erythromycin (70%), tylosin (66%), and low for florfenicol (0%) and enrofloxacin (0.3%). Clinical resistance percentages were high for tetracycline (95%), erythromycin (66%), tylosin (66%), and low for florfenicol (0.3%) and enrofloxacin (0.3%). For tiamulin, for which no clinical breakpoint is available, 57% of the isolates did not belong to the wild-type population. Clinical resistance and non-wild-type percentages differed substantially for penicillin. Only 1% of the tested S. suis strains was considered as clinically resistant, whereas 47% of the strains showed acquired resistance when epidemiological cutoff values were used. In conclusion, MIC values for penicillin are gradually increasing, compared to previous reports, although pigs infected with strains showing higher MICs may still respond to treatment with penicillin. The high rate of acquired resistance against tiamulin has not been reported before. Results from this study clearly demonstrate that the use of different interpretive criteria contributes to the extent of differences in reported antimicrobial resistance results. The early detection of small changes in the MIC population distribution of isolates, while clinical failure may not yet be observed, provides the opportunity to implement appropriate risk management steps.

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