Antibiotic resistance in porcine pathogenic bacteria and relation to antibiotic usage

Iben Holmer, C. M. Salomonsen, Sven Erik Lind Jorsal, Lærke Boye Astrup, Vibeke Frøkjær Jensen, Birgitte Borck Høg, Karl Pedersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Optimal treatment and prudent use of antimicrobials for pigs is imperative to secure animal health and prevent development of critical resistance. An important step in this one-health context is to monitor resistance patterns of important animal pathogens. The aim of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial resistance patterns of five major pathogens in Danish pigs during a period from 2004 to 2017 and elucidate any developments or associations between resistance and usage of antibiotics. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for Escherichia coli, Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Streptococcus suis, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and Staphylococcus hyicus was determined to representatives of antibiotic classes relevant for treatment or surveillance. Escherichia coli isolates were mostly sensitive to fluoroquinolones and colistin, whereas high levels of resistance were observed to ampicillin, spectinomycin, streptomycin, sulfonamides and tetracycline. While resistance levels to most compounds remained relatively stable during the period, resistance to florfenicol increased from 2.1% in 2004 to 18.1% in 2017, likely in response to a concurrent increase in usage. A temporal association between resistance and usage was also observed for neomycin. E. coli serovars O138 and O149 were generally more resistant than O139. For A. pleuropneumoniae, the resistance pattern was homogenous and predictable throughout the study period, displaying high MIC values only to erythromycin whereas almost all isolates were susceptible to all other compounds. Most S. suis isolates were sensitive to penicillin whereas high resistance levels to erythromycin and tetracycline were recorded, and resistance to erythromycin and trimethoprim increasing over time. For S. hyicus, sensitivity to the majority of the antimicrobials tested was observed. However, penicillin resistance was recorded in 69.4-88.9% of the isolates. All B. bronchiseptica isolates were resistant to ampicillin, whereas all but two isolates were sensitive to florfenicol. The data obtained have served as background for a recent formulation of evidence-based treatment guidelines for pigs. Antibiotic resistance varied for some pathogens over time and in response to usage. Resistance to critically important compounds was low. The results emphasize the need for continuous surveillance of resistance patterns also in pig pathogenic bacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Article number449
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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