The frequent usage of antibiotics in livestock has led to the spread of resistant bacteria within animals and their products, with a global warning in public health and veterinarians to monitor such resistances. This study aimed to determine antibiotic resistance patterns and genes in pig farms from Spain during the last twenty years. Susceptibility to six antibiotics commonly used in pig production was tested by qualitative (disk diffusion) and quantitative (minimum inhibitory concentration, MIC) methods in 200 strains of Escherichia coli which had been isolated between 1999 and 2018 from clinical cases of diarrhoea in neonatal and post-weaned piglets. Results showed resistance around 100% for amoxicillin and tetracycline since 1999, and a progressive increase in ceftiofur resistance throughout the studied period. For colistin, it was detected a resistance peak (17.5% of the strains) in the 2011-2014 period. Concerning gentamicin, 11 of 30 strains with intermediate susceptibility by the disk diffusion method were resistant by MIC. Besides, the most frequent antimicrobial resistance genes were the extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) bla CTX-M (13.5% of strains, being CTX-M-14, CTX-M-1 and CTX-M-32 the most prevalent genomes, followed by CTX-M-27, CTX-M-9 and CTX-M-3), AmpC-type beta-lactamase (AmpC) bla CMY-2 (3%) and colistin resistance genes mcr-4 (13%), mcr-1 (7%) and in less proportion mcr-5 (3%). Interestingly, these mcr genes were already detected in strains isolated in 2000, more than a decade before their first description. However, poor concordance between the genotypic mcr profile and the phenotypical testing by MIC was found in this study. These results indicate that although being a current concern, resistance genes and therefore antimicrobial resistant phenotypes were already present in pig farms at the beginning of the century.
Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; Colistin-mcr genes; ESBL; Escherichia coli; Pig.
© The Author(s) 2020.