Resistance of Escherichia coli in Turkeys after Therapeutic or Environmental Exposition with Enrofloxacin Depending on Flooring

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Sep 13;15(9):1993. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091993.


Gaining knowledge about the spread of resistance against antibacterial agents is a primary challenge in livestock farming. The purpose of this study was to test the effect of double antibiotic treatment (at days 10⁻14 and days 26⁻30) with enrofloxacin or solely environmental exposition (identical times, directly into the litter) on resistance against antibacterial agents in commensal Escherichia coli in comparison with the control (without treatment), depending on different flooring. A total of 720 Big 6 turkeys participated in three trials. Four different flooring designs were examined: An entire floor pen covered with litter, a floor pen with heating, a partially slatted flooring including 50% littered area, and a fully slatted flooring with a sand bath. A total of 864 Escherichia coli isolates were obtained from cloacal swabs and poultry manure samples at days 2, 9, 15, 21, and 35. The broth microdilution method (MIC) was used to determine the resistance of isolates to enrofloxacin and ampicillin. A double antibiotic treatment with enrofloxacin reduced the proportion of susceptible Escherichia coli isolates significantly in all flooring designs. Simulation of water losses had no significant effect, nor did the flooring design. Ampicillin-resistant isolates were observed, despite not using ampicillin.

Keywords: Turkey; antibacterial resistance; commensal E. coli; enrofloxacin; flooring design.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ampicillin / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Enrofloxacin / pharmacology*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli Infections / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Floors and Floorcoverings*
  • Housing, Animal
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Poultry Diseases / prevention & control
  • Turkeys / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Enrofloxacin
  • Ampicillin