JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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A survey of fluoroquinolone resistance in Escherichia coli and thermophilic Campylobacter spp. on poultry and pig farms in Great Britain.

AIMS: To estimate the proportions of farms on which broilers, turkeys and pigs were shedding fluoroquinolone (FQ)-resistant Escherichia coli or Campylobacter spp. near to slaughter.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Freshly voided faeces were collected on 89 poultry and 108 pig farms and cultured with media containing 1.0 mg l(-1) ciprofloxacin. Studies demonstrated the specificity of this sensitive method, and both poultry and pig sampling yielded FQ-resistant E. coli on 60% of farms. FQ-resistant Campylobacter spp. were found on around 22% of poultry and 75% of pig farms. The majority of resistant isolates of Campylobacter (89%) and E. coli (96%) tested had minimum inhibitory concentrations for ciprofloxacin of > or =8 mg l(-1). The proportion of resistant E. coli and Campylobacter organisms within samples varied widely.

CONCLUSIONS: FQ resistance is commonly present among two enteric bacterial genera prevalent on pig and poultry farms, although the low proportion of resistant organisms in many cases requires a sensitive detection technique.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: FQ-resistant bacteria with zoonotic potential appear to be present on a high proportion of UK pig and poultry farms. The risk this poses to consumers relative to other causes of FQ-resistant human infections remains to be clarified.

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