Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antibiotic-resistant pathogens persist in antibiotic-free pigs

Date:
September 17, 2012
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have found identical strains of antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter coli in both antibiotic-free and conventionally raised pigs. This finding may indicate that these antibiotic-resistant pathogens can persist and thrive in the environment, regardless of antimicrobial usage by pork producers.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have found identical strains of antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter Coli (C. coli) in both antibiotic-free (ABF) and conventionally raised pigs. This finding may indicate that these antibiotic-resistant pathogens can persist and thrive in the environment, regardless of antimicrobial usage by pork producers.

Related Articles


Dr. Siddhartha Thakur, assistant professor of population health and pathobiology, had previously found that antibiotic-resistant C. coli, a leading cause of foodborne illness in the U.S., was present in both ABF-certified and conventionally raised pigs. The pathogen was present in both groups in all facilities from breeding to processing. Thakur wanted to determine whether the C. coli that he found in each group was genetically the same, in order to see if the presence or absence of antimicrobial usage had an effect on the pathogen's genetic makeup.

The rise of antibiotic-resistant pathogens like C. coli is a concern for the food animal industry. Some pig farms have switched to raising ABF pigs in an attempt to get away from the conditions that facilitated antibiotic resistance in the first place. The hope is that once the selection pressure -- in the form of antimicrobial use -- on C. coli to retain antibiotic resistance decreases, the pathogen will lose its resistance.

Over several years, Thakur and Ph.D. student Macarena Quintana-Hayashi collected thousands of samples from pigs and their surrounding environments, and performed a genetic analysis on 200 representative isolates of C. coli, to see if these strains were similar. They found that the Campylobacter populations in the two swine production systems (conventional and ABF) were in fact the same. Since the different pig populations never came into contact, the researchers concluded that the environment must be playing a large role in the continuing survival of antibiotic-resistant C. coli.

Thakur's findings appear online in PLoS One.

"In the case of ABF pigs, the environment plays an important role in their exposure to these resistant strains," Thakur says. "If the environment itself, and not the pig, is serving as a reservoir for C. coli, then we will most probably continue to find resistant bacterial populations, regardless of a producer's antimicrobial use."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Macarena P. Quintana-Hayashi, Siddhartha Thakur. Phylogenetic Analysis Reveals Common Antimicrobial Resistant Campylobacter coli Population in Antimicrobial-Free (ABF) and Commercial Swine Systems. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (9): e44662 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044662

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Antibiotic-resistant pathogens persist in antibiotic-free pigs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120917152053.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2012, September 17). Antibiotic-resistant pathogens persist in antibiotic-free pigs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120917152053.htm
North Carolina State University. "Antibiotic-resistant pathogens persist in antibiotic-free pigs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120917152053.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins