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Pol J Microbiol. 2013;62(2):173-9.

The phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli populations isolated from farm animals with different exposure to antimicrobial agents.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Zielona Góra, Zielona Góra, Poland.


The aim of the study was to determine the influence of the presence or the absence of antibiotic input on the emergence and maintenance of resistance in commensal bacteria from food producing animals. The research material constituted E. coli isolates from two animal species: swine at different age from one conventional pig farm with antibiotic input in young pigs and from beef and dairy cattle originated from organic breeding farm. The sensitivity to 16 antimicrobial agents was tested, and the presence of 15 resistance genes was examined. In E. coli from swine, the most prevalent resistance was resistance to streptomycin (88.3%), co-trimoxazole (78.8%), tetracycline (57.3%) ampicillin (49.3%) and doxycycline (44.9%) with multiple resistance in the majority. The most commonly observed resistance genes were: bla(TEM) (45.2%), tetA (35.8%), aadA1 (35.0%), sul3 (29.5%), dfrA1 (20.4%). Differences in phenotypes and genotypes of E. coli between young swine undergoing prevention program and the older ones without the antibiotic pressure occurred. A disparate resistance was found in E. coli from cattle: cephalothin (36.9%), cefuroxime (18.9%), doxycycline (8.2%), nitrofurantoin (7.7%), and concerned mainly dairy cows. Among isolates from cattle, multidrug resistance was outnumbered by resistance to one or two antibiotics and the only found gene markers were: bla(SHV), (3.4%), tetA (1.29%), bla(TEM) (0.43%) and tetC (0.43%). The presented outcomes provide evidence that antimicrobial pressure contributes to resistance development, and enteric microflora constitutes an essential reservoir of resistance genes.

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