Glycopeptide resistance in Enterococcus faecium from broilers and pigs following discontinued use of avoparcin

Flemming Bager, Frank Møller Aarestrup, Mogens Madsen, Henrik Caspar Wegener

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The use of the glycopeptide growth promoter avoparcin was discontinued in Denmark in 1995 following concerns that vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium occurring as a result of its use could be transferred to humans via food. The present study is an analysis of results obtained by the continuous surveillance of an antimicrobial resistance in Denmark (DANMAP) with the aim of determining the effect of the ban on the occurrence of glycopeptide resistance among E, faecium isolated from broilers and pigs, Among isolates from broilers, the proportion that were resistant to glycopeptides has shown a statistically highly significant decline between the end of 1995 and the first half of 1998, whereas in pigs the ban appears to have had no such effect. One possible explanation is that the broiler industry generally uses all in-all out production compared with continuous production in pig herds. Alternatively, the results indicate that the different outcomes may result from different co-selection patterns in pigs and broilers. In pigs, the antimicrobials most commonly used favored co-selection of glycopeptide-resistant strains of E. faecium while in broilers the antimicrobials most widely used selected for glycopeptide-susceptible strains. The results show that intervention to reduce antimicrobial resistance may not always be effective and preventing resistance problems therefore becomes essential.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobial Drug Resistance
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)53-56
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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