Swine farms are considered a hotspot of antimicrobial resistance and may contribute to the spread of antibiotic-resistant and/or pathogenic bacteria into the environment as well as to farm workers. In this study, swine fecal samples have been collected over the primary production, selecting three categories, i.e., "Suckling piglets", "Weaning pigs" and "Fatteners", in six intensive swine farms, for two years. Feces were analysed for the detection and abundance of class 1 integrons (used as proxy of antibiotic resistance and of anthropogenic pollution), and of enterococci [fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and potentially pathogenic for humans] by quantitative Real Time PCR. Furthermore, Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium were isolated, analysed for the presence of the intI1 gene by Real Time PCR and genetically typed by Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis. Both enterococci and class 1 integrons were significantly more abundant in the Suckling piglets (p = 0.0316 and 0.0242, respectively). About 8% of the isolated enterococci were positive for the intI1 gene by Real Time PCR. E. faecalis and E. faecium were found genetically heterogeneous and no specific pattern could be identified as the driver for their presence along the pig primary production. These findings suggest that the "Suckling piglets" category of production represents the key point where to mitigate the risk of transmission of enterococci and class 1 integrons with associated antibiotic resistance genes to humans and spread into the environment.

Class 1 integron and Enterococcus spp. abundances in swine farms from the " Suckling piglets" to the "Fatteners" production category

Frangipani, Emanuela;Citterio, Barbara;Mangiaterra, Gianmarco;Bencardino, Daniela;
2022

Abstract

Swine farms are considered a hotspot of antimicrobial resistance and may contribute to the spread of antibiotic-resistant and/or pathogenic bacteria into the environment as well as to farm workers. In this study, swine fecal samples have been collected over the primary production, selecting three categories, i.e., "Suckling piglets", "Weaning pigs" and "Fatteners", in six intensive swine farms, for two years. Feces were analysed for the detection and abundance of class 1 integrons (used as proxy of antibiotic resistance and of anthropogenic pollution), and of enterococci [fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and potentially pathogenic for humans] by quantitative Real Time PCR. Furthermore, Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium were isolated, analysed for the presence of the intI1 gene by Real Time PCR and genetically typed by Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis. Both enterococci and class 1 integrons were significantly more abundant in the Suckling piglets (p = 0.0316 and 0.0242, respectively). About 8% of the isolated enterococci were positive for the intI1 gene by Real Time PCR. E. faecalis and E. faecium were found genetically heterogeneous and no specific pattern could be identified as the driver for their presence along the pig primary production. These findings suggest that the "Suckling piglets" category of production represents the key point where to mitigate the risk of transmission of enterococci and class 1 integrons with associated antibiotic resistance genes to humans and spread into the environment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2704299
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