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Associations between a decreased veterinary antimicrobial use and resistance in commensal Escherichia coli from Belgian livestock species (2011–2015)

Callens, Bénédicte, Cargnel, Mickaël, Sarrazin, Steven, Dewulf, Jeroen, Hoet, Bart, Vermeersch, Katie, Wattiau, Pierre, Welby, Sarah
Preventive veterinary medicine 2018 v.157 pp. 50-58
Escherichia coli, antibiotic resistance, beef cattle, broiler chickens, cephalosporins, chloramphenicol, data collection, fluoroquinolones, gentamicin, swine, veal calves, Belgium
In this study the possible association between antibiotic use and resistance was explored, focusing on commensal Escherichia coli from livestock (veal calves, young beef cattle, pigs and broiler chickens) in Belgium between 2011 and 2015. A continuous decreasing trend in antibiotic use was observed for all classes, except for the phenicols. Antibiotic resistance of commensal E. coli significantly decreased for several of the tested antibiotics in all livestock species. A more rapidly reverted resistance was seen to 3th/4th generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. Moderate to strong correlations between antibiotic use and resistance were found, except for antibiotic resistance to chloramphenicol and gentamicin and the use of the corresponding antibiotic class. Yet, total antibiotic use was positively correlated with chloramphenicol resistance, showing the potential importance of co-selection for chloramphenicol resistance. These results suggest that national antimicrobial usage reduction campaigns have beneficial effects on the overall resistance levels. Analyses were performed on small datasets, though, and care must be taken while making inference. For more detailed analysis, antibiotic use data at an animal species level are required.