Reduced antibacterial drug resistance and blaCTX-M β-lactamase gene carriage in cattle-associated Escherichia coli at low temperatures, at sites dominated by older animals and on pastureland: implications for surveillance

Hannah Schubert, Katy Morley, Emma F Puddy, Robert Arbon, Jacqueline Findlay, Oliver Mounsey, Virginia C Gould, Lucy Vass, Madeleine Evans, Gwen M Rees, David C Barrett, Katy M Turner, Tristan A Cogan, Matthew B Avison, Kristen K Reyher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Little is known about the drivers of critically important antibacterial resistance in species with zoonotic potential present on farms (e.g. CTX-M β-lactamase-positive Escherichia coli). We collected samples - monthly, between January 2017 and December 2018 - on 53 dairy farms in South West England along with data for 610 variables concerning antibacterial usage, management practices and meteorological factors. We detected E. coli resistant to amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, streptomycin and tetracycline, respectively, in 2754/4145 (66%), 263/4145 (6%), 1475/4145 (36%) and 2874/4145 (69%) of all samples from faecally contaminated on-farm and near-farm sites. E. coli positive for blaCTX-M were detected in 224/4145 (5.4%) of samples. Multilevel, multivariable logistic regression showed antibacterial dry cow therapeutic choice (including use of cefquinome or framycetin) to be associated with higher odds of blaCTX-M positivity. Low average monthly ambient temperature was associated with lower odds of blaCTX-ME. coli positivity in samples and with lower odds of finding E. coli resistant to each of the four test antibacterials. This was additional to the effect of temperature on total E. coli density. Furthermore, samples collected close to calves had higher odds of having E. coli resistant to each antibacterial as well as positive for blaCTX-M Samples collected on pastureland had lower odds of having E. coli resistant to amoxicillin or tetracycline as well as lower odds of being positive for blaCTX-MImportance Antibacterial resistance poses a significant threat to human and animal health and global food security. Surveillance for resistance on farms is important for many reasons, including to track the impacts of interventions aimed at reducing the prevalence of resistance. In this longitudinal survey of dairy farm antibacterial resistance, we showed that local temperature - as it changes over the course of a year - was associated with the prevalence of antibacterial-resistant E. coli We also showed that prevalence of resistant E. coli was lower on pastureland and higher in environments inhabited by young animals. These findings have profound implications for routine surveillance and for surveys carried out for research. They provide important evidence that sampling at a single time-point and/or single location on a farm is unlikely to be adequate to accurately determine the status of the farm regarding the presence of samples containing resistant E. coli.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01468-20
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume87
Issue number6
Early online date4 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • antibiotic resistance
  • food-borne pathogens
  • mathematical modeling
  • surveillance studies

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