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Susceptibility of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli from laying hens in Belgium to antibiotics and disinfectants and integron prevalence

  • Oosterik, Leon H
  • Peeters, Laura
  • Mutuku, Irene
  • Goddeeris, Bruno
  • Butaye, Patrick
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) causes huge annual losses in the poultry industry worldwide. Multiresistance against antibiotics of APEC strains is increasingly seen in broilers, although much is still unknown about strains from laying hens where use of antibiotics is limited. Disinfection can reduce the infection burden. However, little is known about the presence of resistance against these products. Ninety-seven APEC strains were isolated from Belgian laying hens. The resistance to different classes of antibiotics was determined as well as the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC; agar and broth dilution) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) of five disinfectants most often used in the poultry industry (formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, glyoxal, hydrogen peroxide, and a quaternary ammonium compound). The presence of integrons was determined by PCR. Resistance to ampicillin (35.1%), nalidixic acid (38.1%), sulfonamides (SULFA, 41.2%), and tetracycline (TET, 53.6%) was high but resistance to other tested antibiotics was low. Nevertheless, two extended spectrum beta-lactamase producers were found. The MIC of the disinfectants for the APEC strains showed a Gaussian distribution, indicating that there was no acquired resistance. MBCs were similar to MICs via the broth dilution method, showing the bactericidal effect of the disinfectants. Twenty-one strains (21.6%) were found positive for class 1 integrons and a positive association between integron presence and resistance to trimethoprim, SULFA, and TET was found. No association could be found between integron presence and phylogenetic group affiliation. Susceptibility of APEC strains from laying hens to antibiotics is, in general, very high. Phenotypic resistance to commonly used disinfectants could not be found, indicating that the current use of disinfectants in the laying hen industry did not select for resistance.

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