Associations among antimicrobial drug treatments and antimicrobial resistance of fecal Escherichia coli of swine on 34 farrow-to-finish farms in Ontario, Canada

Prev Vet Med. 1998 Mar 27;34(4):283-305. doi: 10.1016/s0167-5877(97)00095-0.


Logistic regression was used to model associations between antimicrobial treatment and resistance among fecal Escherichia coli of finisher pigs at the farm level. Four sets of potential risk factors representing different levels of refinement of antimicrobial use on farms were modelled on resistance to antimicrobials. Final models for each antimicrobial were constructed from treatment and management variables significant on initial screening, and corrections for overdispersion were made. In general, in-feed antimicrobial treatment of pigs was more consistently associated with an increased risk of resistance than individual-animal treatment. Antimicrobial treatment in starter rations was significant in final models of resistance to ampicillin, carbadox, nitrofurantoin, sulfisoxizole, and tetracycline. Treatment in grower-finisher rations was significantly associated with resistance to ampicillin, spectinomycin, sulfisoxizole, and tetracycline. There was little evidence that in-feed antimicrobials increased the risk of resistance to gentamicin, which is a drug used only for individual-pig treatment in this study population. These results suggest that antimicrobial medication of rations of post-weaning pigs selects for and maintains antimicrobial resistance among E. coli of finisher pigs. Although resistance was common on farms that did not medicate rations of post-weaning pigs, the results indicate that antimicrobial use does increase the risk of resistance to the antimicrobials studied.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity
  • Escherichia coli Infections / drug therapy
  • Escherichia coli Infections / veterinary*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Ontario
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / drug therapy
  • Swine Diseases / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents