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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Exploring the Antibiotic Resistance Burden in Livestock, Livestock Handlers and Their Non-Livestock Handling Contacts: A One Health Perspective

Hickman, Rachel A.; Leangapichart, Thongpan; Lunha, Kamonwan; Jiwakanon, Jatesada; Angkititrakul, Sunpetch; Magnusson, Ulf; Sunde, Marianne; Jarhult, Josef D.


Antibiotics are freqeuently used in the livestock sector in low- and middle-income countries for treatment, prophylaxis, and growth promotion. However, there is limited information into the zoonotic prevalence and dissemination patterns of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) within these environments. In this study we used pig farming in Thailand as a model to explore AMR; 156 pig farms were included, comprising of small-sized (<50 sows) and medium-sized (>= 100 sows) farms, where bacterial isolates were selectively cultured from animal rectal and human fecal samples. Bacterial isolates were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST), and whole-genome sequencing. Our results indicate extensive zoonotic sharing of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) by horizontal gene transfer. Resistance to multiple antibiotics was observed with higher prevalence in medium-scale farms. Zoonotic transmission of colistin resistance in small-scale farms had a dissemination gradient from pigs to handlers to non-livestock contacts. We highly recommend reducing the antimicrobial use in animals' feeds and medications, especially the last resort drug colistin.


one-health approach; antibiotic resistance; zoonotic transmission; E; coli; livestock; pigs; meat-production

Published in

Frontiers in Microbiology
2021, volume: 12, article number: 651461

Authors' information

Hickman, Rachel A.
Uppsala University
Leangapichart, Thongpan
Norwegian Veterinary Institute
Lunha, Kamonwan
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Jiwakanon, Jatesada
Khon Kaen University
Angkititrakul, Sunpetch
Khon Kaen University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Sunde, Marianne
Norwegian Veterinary Institute
Jarhult, Josef D.
Uppsala University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and wellbeing
SDG17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

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