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Vet Rec. 2013 Nov 2;173(17):422. doi: 10.1136/vr.101759. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Risk factors for antimicrobial resistance in Escherichia coli found in GB turkey flocks.

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  • 1Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (Weybridge), New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK.


Four models are presented investigating risks present on Great Britain (GB) turkey farms in breeding and fattening flocks for ciprofloxacin and cephalosporin resistance. Risk factors for ciprofloxacin resistance in fattening flocks were sourcing of feed from national compounders, antimicrobial use in the flock and evidence of mice. Disinfection of floors and walls at depopulation, older flocks and division of the flock with partitions reduced the risk. In breeding farms holding over 10,000 birds, administration of fluoroquinolones within the last year and horses on the neighbouring farm all increased the risk, whereas replenishing foot dips more than once a week reduced the risk. For cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli on fattening farms, being an independent farm, having a watercourse near the poultry houses, dividing the flock with partitions and providing staff with gloves reduced the risk. Factors that increased the risk included if staff worked with other livestock and if there were pigs on neighbouring farms. This work suggests that good hygiene and biosecurity, rodent control and responsible use of antimicrobials on turkey farms might help minimise the prevalence of fluoroquinolone and cephalosporin resistance in E coli, and restrict the spread of resistance genes to other organisms.

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