The epidemiology of an extended spectrum beta-lactamase Escherichia coli (CTX-M-15) was observed and described on a commercial dairy farm located in the United Kingdom. During 2008 longitudinal sampling of faecal pat samples from different cattle groups comprising milking and non-milking cows, calving cows, calves, and the environment was carried out. The proportion of CTX-M-15 E. coli positive samples was significantly (p<0.0.01) higher in milking cows (30.3%, CI(95%) 26.8; 33.8) than in the herd as a whole (17.0%, CI(95%) 14.9; 19.0). In 2008 95.6% of sampled calves tested positive for CTX-M-15 E. coli at two days of age. A more detailed investigation in 2009 revealed that cows and heifers were approximately eight times more likely to test positive in the 10 days after calving than the 9 days before (OR 7.6, CI(95%) 2.32; 24.9). The CTX-M15 E. coli was also readily isolated from the immediate calving pen environment, including the water troughs. A cyclic pattern was apparent where cows immediately after calving and as high yielders were highly positive, but where the prevalence decreased during the dry period. The increased prevalence of the CTX-M-15 E. coli in certain cattle groups and farm environments including calving pens suggested that husbandry, antimicrobial usage and hygiene may play a significant role on a farm with regards to the epidemiology of CTX-M-15. This may offer a practical opportunity to reduce further dissemination through good practice and hygiene around calving.
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