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Selection of antibiotic resistance in pigs after exposure to feed cross-contaminated with oxytetracycline

  • Santos-Santórum Suárez, Cristina
  • Sanders, Pascal
  • Gaugain, Murielle
  • Viel, Alexis
  • Paboeuf, Frédéric
  • Taillandier, Jean-François
  • Houée, Paméla
  • Valentin, Charlotte
  • Perrin-Guyomard, Agnès
Publication Date
Nov 22, 2023
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2023.109924
PMID: 38007921
OAI: oai:HAL:anses-04311332v1
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Due to possible cross-contamination of animal feedstuff with antibiotics, food-producing animals may be exposed to undesirable low concentrations of antimicrobials. These sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics can lead to the selection of resistant bacteria in the animal gut. The goal of this study was to assess, through analysis of the faeces of treated and control pigs, the risk of resistant E. coli being selected after daily exposure for three weeks to feed contaminated with oxytetracycline at 1% of the therapeutic dose. Liquid Chromatography coupled to tandem Mass Spectrometry was used to determine the oxytetracycline concentrations in faecal samples. In the treated group, concentrations were in the range of 4481.9-8671.2 µg/kg. In the control group, these concentrations were either below the method's limit of quantification or up to 60.5 µg/kg. After a transient increase in resistance in both groups, microbiological analysis showed that the treated group had a significantly higher oxytetracycline resistance rate by the end of the study than the control group (p < 0.001). Furthermore, the treated animals were found to select co-resistances to nalidixic acid and ampicillin. Finally, at tolerated antibiotic contamination levels of feed, the treated group had a higher proportion of multidrug-resistant isolates at the end of the study than the control one (p < 0.05). The present study demonstrates that, at the tolerated contamination rates, both antimicrobial resistance and multidrug-resistant bacteria can be selected and evidenced in the gut microbiota.

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