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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2013 Nov;42(5):379-83. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2013.06.012. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

What do we know about resistance to colistin in Enterobacteriaceae in avian and pig production in Europe?

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ANSES, Ploufragan-Plouzané Laboratory, BP 53, 22440 Ploufragan, France; Université européenne de Bretagne, Rennes, France. Electronic address:


Colistin is a cyclic decapeptide bound to a fatty acid chain. It is active against many Gram-negative bacteria by destabilising the bacterial outer membrane. Bacteria can become resistant to colistin by modification of their lipopolysaccharide, thereby reducing the affinity of polymyxins. Colistin is often administered orally in poultry and pig production to control colibacillosis. Resistant isolates are sometimes recovered from pathological cases, particularly in piglets. However, in Europe the percentage of resistance to colistin in Escherichia coli strains isolated from the digestive tract microbiota of healthy animals remains <1%.


Colistin; Escherichia coli; Pig; Poultry; Resistance

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