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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2017 Dec 25. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkx455. [Epub ahead of print]

Intestinal carriage of ampicillin- and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium in humans, dogs and cats in the Netherlands.

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Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Department of Biostatistics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.



The prevalence of ampicillin- and/or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (AREf and VREf) has increased in hospitalized patients in the Netherlands.


To quantify the prevalence, risk factors and co-carriage of AREf and VREf in humans, cats and dogs in the Dutch population.


From 2014 to 2015, ∼2000 inhabitants of the Netherlands each month were randomly invited to complete a questionnaire and provide a faecal sample. Subjects owning pets were also asked to submit one dog or cat sample. Faecal samples were screened for AREf and VREf. The genetic relatedness of isolates was determined using core genome MLST. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine risk factors.


Of 25 365 subjects, 4721 (18.6%) completed the questionnaire and 1992 (42.2%) human, 277 dog and 118 cat samples were submitted. AREf was detected in 29 human (1.5%), 71 dog (25.6%) and 6 cat (5.1%) samples. VREf (vanA) was detected in one human and one dog. AREf/VREf co-carriage was not detected in 388 paired samples. The use of antibiotics (OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.7-11.2) and proton pump inhibitors (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.1-6.3) were risk factors for AREf carriage in humans. In dogs, these were the use of antibiotics (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1-4.6) and eating raw meat (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.4-6.6). Core genome MLST-based phylogenetic linkage indicated clonal relatedness for a minority of human (16.7%) and pet AREf isolates (23.8%) in three clusters.


Intestinal carriage with AREf or VREf is rare in the Dutch general population. Although AREf carriage is high in dogs, phylogenetic linkage between human and pet AREf isolates was limited.


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