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High abundance and diversity of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli in faeces and tonsils of pigs at slaughter

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

This cross-sectional study investigates the abundance of cefotaxime-resistant Escherichia coil (CREC) in the faeces and tonsils of 96 pigs during slaughter. Moreover, different isolates from a selected number of pigs were tested to study the diversity of biaESBL genes within E. coil isolates from one pig. Cefotaxime-resistant bacteria (based on enumeration results on MacConkey agar supplemented with 1 mg/L cefotaxime) were found in the faeces of 77 pigs (80%; 95% CI: 70-87%) and the tonsils of 91 pigs (95%; 95% CI: 88%-98%). Cefotaxime-resistant E. coil (based on enumeration results on Tryptone Bile X-glucuronide agar supplemented with 1 mg/L cefotaxime) were detected in 72 faecal samples (75%; 95% CI: 64-83%) and 45 tonsil samples (47%; 95% CI: 35-59%), in numbers up to 5.5 and 5.6 logio CFU/g, respectively. On average, around 1/10,000 E. coll. in both faeces and tonsils were cefotaxime-resistant, though large variations were observed between pigs. Within one sample, CREC isolates with up to five different combinations of ESBL genes were observed. In three out of 16 faecal samples and six out of 14 tonsil samples, only one ESBL gene profile was found. The high numbers of CREC that are occasionally found in the faeces and tonsils of pigs during slaughter may represent an important source of contamination of carcasses and subsequently pork.
Journal: Veterinary Microbiology
ISSN: 0378-1135
Volume: 208
Pages: 190 - 194
Publication year:2017