Antimicrobial-Resistant Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis Isolated From Healthy Thoroughbred Racehorses in Japan

J Equine Vet Sci. 2020 Nov;94:103232. doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2020.103232. Epub 2020 Aug 25.


In this study, the occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) enterococci was evaluated in Thoroughbred (TB) racehorses in Japan. Fecal samples were collected from 212 healthy TB racehorses at the Miho and Ritto Training Centers of the Japan Racing Association from March 2017 to August 2018. Isolation and identification were performed by enterococcus selective medium and confirmed to the species using MALDI-TOF MS. Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis isolates were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility test against 11 antimicrobials by minimum inhibitory concentration based on recommendation from Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Among 583 enterococcus isolates, E. faecium and E. faecalis were identified for 48.2% (281/583) and 7.4% (43/583), respectively. One isolate that was representing E. faecium (153 isolates) and E. faecalis (31 isolates) from each sample was selected for antimicrobial susceptibility test. The highest rate of resistance for E. faecium isolates was observed against enrofloxacin (57.5%; 88/153), followed by streptomycin (32.0%; 49/153), kanamycin (18.3%; 28/153), gentamycin (5.9%; 9/153), erythromycin (5.9%; 9/153), and oxytetracycline (4.6%; 7/153). For E. faecium isolates, the highest resistance was observed against streptomycin (90.3%; 28/31), followed by kanamycin (41.9%; 13/31), gentamycin (29.0%; 9/31), lincomycin (9.7%; 3/31), oxytetracycline (6.5%; 2/31), erythromycin (6.5%; 2/31), tylosin (6.5%; 2/31), enrofloxacin (6.5%; 2/31), and chloramphenicol (3.2%; 1/31). The results indicated that enrofloxacin and aminoglycosides were highly resistant among tested antimicrobials. Continuous monitoring studies are useful to increase the awareness of the potential for AMR bacteria to arise from imprudent use of antimicrobials in TB racehorses in Japan.

Keywords: Antimicrobial resistant; Enterococcus spp.; Minimum inhibitory concentration; Thoroughbred horse.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents*
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Enterococcus faecium*
  • Horses
  • Japan / epidemiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents