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Genotypes and antibiotic resistance of Campylobacter coli in fattening pigs

Egger, R., Korczak, B.M., Niederer, L., Overesch, G., Kuhnert, P.
Veterinary microbiology 2012 v.155 no.2-4 pp. 272-278
Campylobacter coli, antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, feces, finishing, food pathogens, gastroenteritis, genes, genotype, livestock production, macrolides, point mutation, poultry, quinolones, ribosomal RNA, slaughterhouses, swine, Switzerland
Campylobacter coli is a food-borne zoonotic pathogen causing human gastroenteritis worldwide. The organism is a commensal in the intestine of many food production animals including fattening pigs. The role of the pig as a potential reservoir for C. coli affecting human either directly or via poultry has hardly been investigated and genetic characterization of porcine strains is needed to address this question. For this aim multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and flaB typing was applied to 256 C. coli isolates from faeces of fattening pig collected during 2009 at different slaughterhouses in Switzerland. In addition genotypic resistances towards macrolides and quinolones based on point mutations in the 23S rRNA and gyrA genes, respectively, were determined. Of the 67 sequence types (STs) obtained by MLST, 37 were found for the first time. flaB typing revealed 46 different types with 14 of them being novel and was useful to further differentiate strains with an identical ST. Quinolone resistance was detected in 33.6% and macrolide resistance was found in 10.6% of isolates. Comparison with 99 C. coli pig isolates from 2001 revealed a significant decrease in antibiotic resistance towards both groups of antibiotics and there was high overlap between genotypes of 2001 and 2009. Little overlap of porcine genotypes was found with 97 C. coli isolates from poultry collected 2008, however, macrolide resistance was significantly higher in pig isolates. In conclusion, C. coli from Swiss pig are heterogeneous containing many novel STs, findings that could reflect the partitioned Swiss pig production with almost no international breed exchange. The antibiotic resistance echoes the use of corresponding drugs in the Swiss livestock production and indicates the efficacy of restrictive application of antibiotics in order to reduce resistances.