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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Antimicrobial,susceptibility of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish isolates of Clostridium perfringens from poultry, and distribution of tetracycline resistance genes

Johansson A, Greko C, Engstrom BE, Karlsson M


This study was undertaken to determine the in vitro susceptibility of Clostridium perfringens, isolated from poultry to antimicrobials used in poultry production. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of eight antimicrobials, including the ionophoric coccidiostat narasin, was determined for 102 C. perfringens isolates, 58 from Sweden, 24 from Norway and 20 from Denmark. Susceptibility to each antimicrobial compound was determined by broth microdilution. The isolates were obtained from broilers (89), laying hens (9) and turkeys (4), affected by necrotic enteritis (NE) or by C. perfringens associated hepatitis (CPH), and from healthy broilers. All strains, regardless of origin, proved inherently susceptible to ampicillin, narasin, avilamycin, erythromycin and vancomycin. A low frequency of resistance to virginiamycin and bacitracin was also found. Resistance to tetracycline was found in strains isolated in all three countries; Sweden (76%), Denmark (10%) and Norway (29%). In 80% of the tetracycline-resistant isolates', the two resistance genes tetA(P) and tetB(P) were amplified by PCR whereas in 20% only the tetA(P) gene was detected. No tetM gene amplicon was obtained from any of the tetracycline-resistant isolates. The uniform susceptibility to narasin revealed in this study shows that the substance can still be used to control clostridiosis. In this study, C perfringens also showed a low degree of resistance to most other antimicrobials tested. Despite the small amounts of tetracycline used in poultry, a considerable degree of resistance to tetracycline was found in C perfringens isolates from Swedish broilers. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Veterinary Microbiology
2004, Volume: 99, number: 3-4, pages: 251-257

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