Original Research

Antimicrobial usage in pig production: Effects on Escherichia coli virulence profiles and antimicrobial resistance

Rukayya H. Abubakar, Evelyn Madoroba, Oluwawemimo Adebowale, Olubunmi G. Fasanmi, Folorunso O. Fasina
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 86, No 1 | a1743 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v86i1.1743 | © 2019 Rukayya H. Abubakar, Evelyn Madoroba, Oluwawemimo Adebowale, Olubunmi G. Fasanmi, Folorunso O. Fasina | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 16 February 2019 | Published: 31 October 2019

About the author(s)

Rukayya H. Abubakar, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Evelyn Madoroba, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, South Africa
Oluwawemimo Adebowale, Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Olubunmi G. Fasanmi, Department of Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Department of Animal Health, Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Ibadan, Nigeria
Folorunso O. Fasina, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


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Abstract

Antimicrobials (AM) are used for growth promotion and therapy in pig production. Its misuse has led to the development of resistant organisms. We evaluated Escherichia coli virulence genes, and compared phenotypic–genotypic antimicrobial resistance (AMR) patterns of faecal E. coli from pigs receiving routine farm treatment without antimicrobial agents against pigs treated routinely with AM over 70 days. Recovered E. coli were tested for AMR using disk diffusion and polymerase chain reaction. Virulence genes were detected in 24.8% of isolates from antimicrobial group and 43.5% from non-antimicrobial group (p = 0.002). The proportion of virulence genes heat-stable enterotoxins a & b (STa, STb), enteroaggregative heat stable enterotoxin 1 [EAST1] and Shiga toxin type 2e [Stx2e]) were 18.1%, 0.0%, 78.7% and 3.0% for antimicrobial group and 14.8%, 8.5%, 85.1% and 12.7% for non-antimicrobial groups, respectively. Resistance to oxytetracycline was most common (p = 0.03) in samples collected between days 10 and 21. Resistance shifted to amoxicillin on days 56–70, and trimethoprim resistance was observed throughout. Seventeen phenotypic AMR combinations were observed and eight were multidrug resistant. At least one tetracycline resistance gene was found in 63.9% of the isolates. tet (A) (23.3%) was most common in the antimicrobial group, whereas tet (B) (43.5%) was prevalent in the non-antimicrobial group. Usage or non-usage of antimicrobial agents in growing pigs does not preclude virulence genes development and other complex factors may be involved as previously described. Heavily used AM correspond to the degree of resistance and tetracycline resistance genes were detected during the growth phase.

Keywords

antimicrobial; Escherichia coli; microbial drug resistance; virulence

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