Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp. is a major health problem worldwide and livestock have been implicated in constituting a reservoir for the transmission of vancomycin resistance to zoonotic pathogens. Vancomycin resistance determinants can be situated on mobile genetic elements and transferred between bacterial species The livestock reservoir must therefore be included in a risk assessment of the vancomycin resistance burden. Avoparcin, a vancomycin analogue, has not been used in Danish pig production for over 20 years and vancomycin has never been used. The objective of this study was to screen faecal samples from Danish pig farms for nine selected vancomycin resistance determinants. We found at least four different vancomycin resistance determinants in all screened Danish pig farms (665 finisher farms and 78 sow farms). The vancomycin resistance determinants present in vanB or vanG clusters were found at significantly different levels in sow and finisher farms. However, vanA was not detected in any of the farms. In conclusion, vancomycin resistance determinants are still present in Danish pig production 25 years after the ban on avoparcin use.
- Antimicrobial resistance