The effect of colistin treatment on the selection of colistin-resistant Escherichia coli in weaner pigs

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The treatment of diarrhea in the postweaning period is a common reason for the use of antimicrobials in pig production, and Escherichia coli is the single most important causative agent for this condition. Colistin has recently been classified as a critically important antimicrobial for human health, as it is a last-resort drug against certain multi-drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Therefore, the use of colistin has been significantly reduced in some countries, including Denmark. Despite this, the drug is still commonly used to treat diarrhea in pigs in many countries, and there is a need to understand the risks associated with this practice. We performed a prospective cohort study to investigate the effect of colistin treatment on the changes in the average minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) in commensal E. coli in a pig herd where no colistin-resistant bacteria were detectable before treatment. One group of pigs was batch treated with colistin after the clinical observation of diarrhea, one group was batch treated with colistin approximately 10 days before the expected onset of diarrhea, and a control group was not treated with colistin but provided with nonantimicrobial antidiarrheal feed supplement. Treatment with colistin in the dose and time combinations used did not result in a significant increase in the average colistin MIC values in E. coli. Moreover, no E. coli strains showed a MIC above the breakpoint of >2 mg/L against colistin. Co-selection of resistance to other antimicrobials was not observed.

Udgave nummer4
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was funded by the Agriculture and Food Council, SEGES, Denmark (LD-32709-14-0017).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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