Copper resistance in Enterococcus faecium, mediated by the tcrB gene, is selected by supplementation of pig feed with copper sulfate

Henrik Hasman, I. Kempf, B. Chidaine, R. Cariolet, A. K. Ersbøll, H. Houe, H. C. B. Hansen, Frank Møller Aarestrup

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The tcr gene cluster mediates in vitro copper resistance in Enterococcus faecium. Here we describe the selection of tcr-mediated copper resistance in E. faecium in an animal feeding experiment with young pigs fed 175 mg copper/kg feed (ppm), which is the concentration commonly used for piglets in European pig production. tcr-mediated copper resistance was not selected for in a control group fed low levels of copper (6 ppm). We also show coselection of macrolide- and glycopeptide-resistant E. faecium in the animal group fed the high level of copper. Finally, we identify the tcr genes in the enterococcal species E. mundtii, E. casseliflavus, and E. gallinarum for the first time.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)5784-5789
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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