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Antimicrobial resistance in faecal samples from buffalo, wildebeest and zebra grazing together with and without cattle in Tanzania

Katakweba, A.A.S., Møller, K.S., Muumba, J., Muhairwa, A.P., Damborg, P., Rosenkrantz, J.T., Minga, U.M., Mtambo, M.M.A., Olsen, J.E.
Journal of applied microbiology 2015 v.118 no.4 pp. 966-975
Enterococcus, Escherichia coli, antibiotic resistance, buffaloes, cattle, cefotaxime, coliform bacteria, enrofloxacin, feces, genes, grazing, national parks, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, risk, wildebeest, wildlife, zebras, Tanzania
AIM: The aim of this study was to determine whether the practice of co‐grazing with cattle and wild life constitutes a risk of transmission of antibiotic resistant bacteria to wild ungulates. METHODS AND RESULTS: Faecal samples were collected from buffalo (n = 35), wildebeest (n = 40), zebra (n = 40) and cattle (N = 20) from Mikumi National Park, Tanzania (MNP), where cattle is prohibited and from Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) where co‐grazing is practiced. The number of coliforms and enterococci resistant to selected antibiotics was determined. Wild life generally harboured higher number of resistant Escherichia coli and Enterococci than cattle, but with no general influence in wild life of co‐grazing with cattle. Vancomycin‐resistant Enterococci were detected in wild life samples, and E. coli resistant to cefotaxime and enrofloxacin were observed among isolates from all wild life, but not from cattle. Culture independent estimates of the number of sulII gene copies obtained by qPCR did not differ between wild life from the two sample sites, while tetW was significantly higher in samples from MPN than from NCA. CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotic resistant bacteria were not more frequently found in ungulates grazing together with cattle than ungulates without this interaction. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This study did not indicate that transmission of antibiotic resistant bacteria is a frequent event following co‐grazing of wild life and cattle.