The dynamic of antibiotic resistance in commensal Escherichia coli throughout the growing period in broiler chickens: fast-growing vs. slow-growing breeds
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AuthorMontoro-Dasi, L.; Villagra, A.; Sevilla-Navarro, S.; Pérez-Gracia, M. T.; Vega, S.; Marin, C.
Cita bibliográficaMontoro-Dasi, L., Villagra, A., Sevilla-Navarro, S., Pérez-Gracia, M. T., Vega, S., & Marin, C. (2020). The dynamic of antibiotic resistance in commensal Escherichia coli throughout the growing period in broiler chickens: fast-growing vs. slow-growing breeds. Poultry Science, 99(3), 1591-1597.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an important threat to public health worldwide. Furthermore, different studies have demonstrated a close association between antibiotic use in animal production and AMR in humans. It is well known that it is necessary to reduce antibiotic administration in farms by finding effective alternative treatments, using more resistant breeds and improving animal welfare. However, to be able to assess the alternatives proposed, it is essential to study the epidemiology of AMR under production conditions. Hence, the aim of this study was to investigate the AMR dynamic in 2 genetic poultry breeds during the growing period. The study was performed in 2 experimental poultry houses to simulate real production conditions, and no antibiotics were administered during the growing period. In addition, 2 poultry breeds were used, fast-growing and slow-growing. To evaluate AMR evolution, Escherichia coli was selected as indicator bacterium. To this end, animals from each experimental group were sampled at different times: on day of arrival, at mid-period, and at slaughter day. In the laboratory, cecal content was removed and inoculated in selective media. Then, biochemical tests were performed to confirm E. coli. Finally, antibiotic susceptibility was assessed according to Decision 2013/653. At the onset of the cycle, significant differences were observed between breeds, as the E. coli strains isolated from fast-growing 1-day-old-chicks showed higher AMR rates. However, at the end of the period, no significant differences were found between breeds and their presence of resistant bacteria (above 95%). Therefore, although no antibiotics were administered during the growing period, a high level of AMR at slaughter day was demonstrated. Further studies are necessary to determine the main risk factors that increase the level of AMR throughout the productive cycle in broiler chickens. In conclusion, it is important to highlight that although it is crucial to control both antibiotic use and animal welfare during the growing period, measures should be taken at all levels of the production chain.