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posted on 2018-03-21, 04:08 authored by Raies A. Mir, Thomas A. Weppelmann, Lin Teng, Alexander Kirpich, Mauricio A. Elzo, Joseph D. Driver, Kwangcheol C. Jeong

The emergence of infections caused by antimicrobial resistant microorganisms (ARMs) is currently one of the most important challenges to public health and medicine. Though speculated to originate at least partially from the overuse of antibiotics during food animal production, we hypothesized that cattle are exposed to ARMs in the environment. In this cohort study, a herd of beef calves with no previous exposure to antibiotics was followed during the first year of life in order to investigate the rate of colonization by bacteria resistant to the third-generation cephalosporin cefotaxime. Fecal samples were collected from the recto anal junction of cattle at the age of ~3, 6, 9, and 12 months and tested for cefotaxime resistant bacteria (CRB) and the presence of extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs). The colonization dynamics of CRB in calves (n = 188) was evaluated with samples collected from four periods using longitudinal statistical analyses. Colonization by CRB was a dynamic process with over 92% of the calves testing positive for CRB at least once during the first year of life. All isolates subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility test were resistant to at least four different antibiotics and carried multiple variants of the blaCTX-M genes. Metagenomic analysis revealed significant differences in microbiota of the calves with and without CRB colonization at different ages. This study provides evidence that colonization of beef calves by ARMs is a dynamic process that can occur in the absence of veterinary or agricultural use of antibiotics.


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    Frontiers in Microbiology



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