Table_1_Prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in fecal Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. isolates from beef cow-calf operations in northern California and associations with farm practices.DOCX
Antimicrobials are necessary for the treatment of bacterial infections in animals, but increased antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is becoming a concern for veterinarians and livestock producers. This cross-sectional study was conducted on cow-calf operations in northern California to assess prevalence of AMR in Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. shed in feces of beef cattle of different life stages, breeds, and past antimicrobial exposures and to evaluate if any significant factors could be identified that are associated with AMR status of the isolates. A total of 244 E. coli and 238 Enterococcus isolates were obtained from cow and calf fecal samples, tested for susceptibility to 19 antimicrobials, and classified as resistant or non-susceptible to the antimicrobials for which breakpoints were available. For E. coli, percent of resistant isolates by antimicrobial were as follows: ampicillin 100% (244/244), sulfadimethoxine 25.4% (62/244), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole 4.9% (12/244), and ceftiofur 0.4% (1/244) while percent of non-susceptible isolates by antimicrobial were: tetracycline 13.1% (32/244), and florfenicol 19.3% (47/244). For Enterococcus spp., percent of resistant isolates by antimicrobial were as follows: ampicillin 0.4% (1/238) while percent of non-susceptible isolates by antimicrobial were tetracycline 12.6% (30/238) and penicillin 1.7% (4/238). No animal level or farm level management practices, including antimicrobial exposures, were significantly associated with differences in isolate resistant or non-susceptible status for either E. coli or Enterococcus isolates. This is contrary to the suggestion that administration of antibiotics is solely responsible for development of AMR in exposed bacteria and demonstrates that there are other factors involved, either not captured in this study or not currently well understood. In addition, the overall use of antimicrobials in this cow-calf study was lower than other sectors of the livestock industry. Limited information is available on cow-calf AMR from fecal bacteria, and the results of this study serve as a reference for future studies to support a better understanding and estimation of drivers and trends for AMR in cow-calf operations.