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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Antimicrobial use and antimicrobial susceptibility in Escherichia coli on small- and medium-scale pig farms in north-eastern Thailand

Strom, G.; Halje, M.; Karlsson, D.; Jiwakanon, J.; Pringle, M.; Fernstrom, L. -L.; Magnusson, U.

Abstract

Background: Intensification of livestock production seen in many low-and middle-income countries is often believed to be associated with increased use of antimicrobials, and may hence contribute to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. The aim of this study was to map antimicrobial use on small- (n = 25) and medium-scale (n = 27) pig farms in north-eastern Thailand, and to compare antimicrobial susceptibility of commensal Escherichia coli isolated from sows on these farms.Methods: Information regarding pig husbandry and antimicrobial treatment regimens was obtained by the use of semi-structured questionnaires. Faecal samples were collected from three healthy sows at each farm, and Escherichia coli was cultured and analysed for antimicrobial susceptibility using the broth microdilution method. Multilevel regression models were used to compare antimicrobial susceptibility between isolates from small-and medium-scale farms.Results: All farms included in the study administered antimicrobials to their sows. Small-scale farmers most commonly (64%) decided themselves when to give antimicrobials and the majority (60%) bought the medicines at the local store or pharmacy, whereas farmers on medium-scale farms always discussed antimicrobial treatment with a veterinarian. Medium-scale farms used a greater diversity of antimicrobials than small-scale farms and did also administer antimicrobials in feed to a higher extent. High levels of antimicrobial resistance to several critically important antimicrobials for human medicine (including ciprofloxacin, streptomycin and ampicillin) were found in isolates from both small-and medium-scale farms. Resistance levels were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in isolates from medium-scale farms for several of the antimicrobials tested, as well as the level of multidrug-resistance (P = 0.026).Conclusion: The routines regarding access and administration of antimicrobials differed between the small-and medium-scale farms. Although the level of antimicrobial resistance, as well as multidrug-resistance, was higher in isolates from medium-scale farms, it cannot be concluded if this increase is a consequence of a more abundant use of antimicrobials, or a result of differences in administration routines.

Keywords

Antimicrobial use; Antimicrobial resistance; E. coli; Pig production; Farm size; Thailand

Published in

Antimicrobial resistance and infection control
2017, Volume: 6, article number: 75