Due to various challenges in diagnosing chlamydiosis in pigs, antibiotic treatment is usually performed before any molecular or antibiotic susceptibility testing. This could increase the occurrence of tetracycline-resistant Chlamydia (C.) suis isolates in the affected pig population and potentiate the reoccurrence of clinical signs. Here, we present a case of an Austrian pig farm, where tetracycline resistant and sensitive C. suis isolates were isolated from four finishers with conjunctivitis. On herd-level, 10% of the finishers suffered from severe conjunctivitis and sows showed a high percentage of irregular return to estrus. Subsequent treatment of whole-herd using oxytetracycline led to a significant reduction of clinical signs. Retrospective antibiotic susceptibility testing revealed tetracycline resistance and decreased susceptibility to doxycycline in half of the ocular C. suis isolates, and all isolates were able to partially recover following a single-dose tetracycline treatment in vitro. These findings were later confirmed in vivo, when all former clinical signs recurred three months later. This case report raises awareness of tetracycline resistance in C. suis and emphasizes the importance of preventative selection of tetracycline resistant C. suis isolates.
Keywords: Chlamydia suis; conjunctivitis; fertility problems; minimal inhibition concentration; multilocus sequence typing; recovery testing; tetracycline resistance.