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Characterization of tetracycline- and ampicillin-resistant Escherichia coli isolated from the feces of feedlot cattle over the feeding period

Mirzaagha, P., Louie, M., Read, R.R., Sharma, R., Yanke, L.J., Topp, E., McAllister, T.A. (2009). Characterization of tetracycline- and ampicillin-resistant Escherichia coli isolated from the feces of feedlot cattle over the feeding period, 55(6), 750-761. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/W09-015

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate tetracycline and ampicillin resistance in Escherichia coli isolated from the feces of 50 crossbred steers housed in 5 feedlot pens. The steers were not administered antibiotics over a 246-day feeding period. A total of 216 isolates were selected for further characterization. The E. coli isolates were selected on MacConkey agar or on MacConkey agar amended with ampicillin (50 μg/mL) or tetracycline (4 μg/mL). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing (XbaI digestion), screening against 11 antibiotics, and multiplex PCR for 14 tet and 3 β-lactamase genes were conducted. Prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in E. coli at each sampling day was related both temporally and by pen. Multiplex PCR revealed that tet(B) was most prevalent among tetracycline-resistant isolates, whereas β-lactamase tem1-like was detected mainly in ampicillin-resistant isolates. Our results suggest that antimicrobial resistance in E. coli populations persists over the duration of the feeding period, even in the absence of in-feed antibiotics. Many of the isolates with the same antibiograms had indistinguishable PFGE patterns. Characterization of the factors that influence the nature of this nonselective resistance could provide important information for consideration in the regulation of in-feed antimicrobials for feedlot cattle.

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