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Characterization of dominant cultivable lactobacilli and their antibiotic resistance profiles from faecal samples of weaning piglets

Korhonen, J.M., Sclivagnotis, Y., Wright, A. von
Journal of applied microbiology 2007 v.103 no.6 pp. 2496-2503
Lactobacillus johnsonii, Lactobacillus reuteri, ampicillin, antibiotic resistance, chloramphenicol, diet, feces, gentamicin, herds, lactic acid bacteria, mucosa, phenotype, piglets, random amplified polymorphic DNA technique, ribosomal DNA, weaning
To examine the lactic acid bacteria flora of weaning piglets, to define the distribution of different lactobacilli species in piglet faecal samples, and to determine the susceptibility phenotype to 11 antibiotic of different families. The faecal samples were taken from piglets with good herd status at 11 and 28 days after weaning. The Lactobacillus isolates (n = 129) from 78 animals housed in pairs in 39 pens were preliminarily identified by their morphology and biochemical characteristics. Partial 16S ribosomal DNA (16S rDNA) was used to identify the isolates to the species level, and RAPD (randomly amplified polymorphism DNA) profiles to differentiate Lactobacillus isolates to the strain level. Based on these studies, 67 strains were selected for antibiotic resistant tests. The most numerous Lactobacillus species found in the piglets was Lactobacillus reuteri (n = 43). Other lactobacilli were L. salivarius (n = 15), L. agilis (n = 4), L. johnsonii (n = 2), L. vaginalis (n = 1), L. mucosae (n = 1) and L. gallinarum (n = 1). All the strains were susceptible to chloramphenicol, ampicillin and gentamicin. Two L. salivarius isolates and two L. reuteri isolates were found to be multiresistant. This study indicates that the faecal Lactobacillus flora in piglets consists mainly of L. reuteri, L. salivarius and L. acidophilus group lactobacilli, and the distribution of lactobacilli is similar between individuals of the same age and with the same diet. Most of the Lactobacillus isolates tested were sensitive to the antibiotics used in this study. Valuable information on Lactobacillus species distribution and their antibiotic resistance profiles in piglets is obtained.