Variety in resistance to antibiotics in C. coli

19-02-2009 | |

Iowa State University researchers have found that certain antibiotics encounter more resistance from Campylobacter coli than other antibiotics in swine, with some variation of resistance levels between farms, Newswise reports.

Researchers are still looking for more clues to determine the significance of the variations.

“If we can eventually figure out what the actual risk factors are associated with resistance we’ll be able to manage that and reduce the risk,” said Qijing Zhang, an ISU professor of veterinary microbiology who managed the project for the Food Safety Consortium.

USDA support
The professor’ team, together with US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Animal Disease Center, gathered C. coli isolates from different production stages at two Iowa swine farms. Subsequently, they tested their ability to resist five different antibiotics.

Two antibiotics did not encounter any resistance – gentamicin and meropenem – but there were varying levels of resistance to three other antibiotics.

Those three antibiotics’ abilities to stave off C. coli varied among each other and between the farms. The levels ranged from 65% of C. coli isolates on one farm resisting one antibiotic to 7.3% on the other farm. The antibiotic doxycycline encountered the most resistance, with the antibiotics erythromcin and ciprofloxacin encountering lower resistance rates.

Fairly often
“Two of the three antibiotics to which we noticed Campylobacter developed a resistance were those that are used fairly often in swine production,” Zhang said.

The researchers also noticed that Campylobacter is prevalent within both pig and poultry production systems. “That has nothing to do with the production management,” Zhang said. “It’s just that Campylobacter is naturally associated with swine and poultry.”

The ISU researchers are considering following with another phase of research into the subject. “We’re not going to abandon this project,” Zhang said. “This is a long-term interest for our research.”

Related websites:
Iowa State University
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)


ter Beek
Vincent ter Beek Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world