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The effect of a commercial competitive exclusion product on the selection of enrofloxacin resistance in commensal E. coli in broilers

Chantziaras, Ilias, Smet, Annemieke, Filippitzi, Maria Eleni, Damiaans, Bert, Haesebrouck, Freddy, Boyen, Filip, Dewulf, Jeroen
Avian pathology 2018 v.47 no.5 pp. 443-454
Escherichia coli, animal models, broiler chickens, chicks, competitive exclusion, enrofloxacin, excretion, flora, fluoroquinolones, hatching
The effect of a competitive exclusion product (Aviguard®) on the selection of fluoroquinolone resistance in poultry was assessed in vivo in the absence or presence of fluoroquinolone treatment. Two experiments using a controlled seeder-sentinel animal model (2 seeders: 4 sentinels per group) with one-day-old chicks were used. For both experiments, as soon as the chicks were hatched, the birds of two groups were administered Aviguard® and two groups were left untreated. Three days later, all groups were inoculated with an enrofloxacin-susceptible commensal E. coli strain. Five days after hatching, two birds per group were inoculated with either a bacteriologically fit or a bacteriologically non-fit enrofloxacin-resistant commensal E. coli strain. In experiment 2, all groups were orally treated for three consecutive days (days 8–10) with enrofloxacin. Throughout the experiments, faecal excretion of all inoculated E. coli strains was determined on days 2, 5, 8, 11, 18 and 23 by selective plating (via spiral plater). Linear mixed models were used to assess the effect of Aviguard® on the selection of fluoroquinolone resistance. The use of Aviguard® (P < 0.01) reduced the excretion of enrofloxacin-resistant E. coli when no enrofloxacin treatment was administered. However, this beneficial effect disappeared (P = 0.37) when the birds were treated with enrofloxacin. Similarly, bacterial fitness of the enrofloxacin-resistant E. coli strain used for inoculation had an effect (P < 0.01) on the selection of enrofloxacin resistance when no treatment was administered, whereas this effect was no longer present when enrofloxacin was administered (P = 0.70). Thus, enrofloxacin treatment cancelled the beneficial effects from administrating Aviguard® in one-day-old broiler chicks and resulted in an enrofloxacin-resistant flora. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS The effect of Aviguard® on the selection of enrofloxacin resistance was assessed in vivo. Without enrofloxacin, Aviguard® reduced the selection of enrofloxacin resistance. When enrofloxacin was administered, it cancelled the beneficial effect of Aviguard®.