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Equine Vet J. 2015 Nov;47(6):756-65. doi: 10.1111/evj.12471. Epub 2015 Aug 26.

Antimicrobial resistance in bacteria from horses: Epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance.

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Department of Musculoskeletal Biology, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, Neston, UK.
National Consortium for Zoonosis Research, School of Veterinary Sciences, Neston, UK.
Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Institute of Infection and Global Health, School of Veterinary Sciences, Leahurst Campus, University of Liverpool, Neston, UK.


Antimicrobial resistance poses a significant threat to the continued successful use of antimicrobial agents for the treatment of bacterial infections. While the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria from man has been studied extensively, less work has been undertaken in companion animals, particularly horses. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus has been identified as a cause of infections, with a low prevalence of nasal carriage by horses in the community but higher for hospitalised horses. Molecular characterisation has shown methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains either to be predominantly of types associated with horses or of sequence type ST398. Antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli (including multidrug-resistant and extended spectrum β-lactamase-producing isolates) have caused infections and been documented in faecal carriage by horses, with many significant resistance mechanisms identified. More sporadic reports and molecular characterisation exist for resistance in other bacteria such as enterococci, Salmonella, Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas species. Limited work has been undertaken evaluating risk factors and much of the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria from horses remains to be determined.


Escherichia coli; antimicrobial resistance; epidemiology; extended spectrum β-lactamase; horse; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

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